Sunday, April 02, 2006

Filter Music Appreciation Night

Show: Filter Music Appreciation Night
Headliner: Helio Sequence
Openers: Band Of Horses, Halou, Aaron Axelson of Live 105
Location: Mezzanine in San Francisco, CA
Date: Saturday, April 1, 2006
2006 Show #: 7

For whatever reason (likley promotional) Filter magazine has decided to do a series of free concerts across the United States. Last night was the first ever one for San Francisco, and it looks like this was about halfway through the system. Each show seemed to have different bands according to the info I got. After going to the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show at Mezzanine, I got on Mezzanine e-mail's list. As a result, I got the announcment e-mail for this show and put myself on the access list. Good stuff.

Not particularly music related, but quite to my enjoyment. For the first 50 people there, they gave out free bags. I grabbed a back pack that looks to be of real solid quality. A Tag on it says $75 retail price. That and a bunch of free crap (a shirt, sampler CDs, magazine, etc.). They also had free beer. It was some weak italian beer that I probably wouldn't get again, but free is free.

Aaron Axleson played music between sets. An excellent selection of music all around. I remember enjoying almost all of it. The only detraction was that it was played at full volume. This is only a problem because I usually like to give my ears a break between band sets. The music was loud enough that I had to leave my earplugs in the entire time.

Halou came on first. They're a San Francisco band that seems to want to be Portishead. They mix percussion, guitars, and both a cello and upright bass with vocals to make their sound. Their lead singer came out in a prom dress and used a variety of microphones to mix up her voice. It was interesting and I picked up their EP to give them a further listen. Worth checking out further. They played a 45 minute set.

Band of Horses played a very troubled 40 minute set. Their lead singer was at no point happy with the level of the vocals, and would complain between each song to try and get more vocals. Never having produced music live, I have no idea what it should hav been. I did notice that he had to get right up to the microphone to make the vocals audible. Was it necessary to be closer then is reasonable? I have no idea. Combining the complaining and the large gap between each song meant that they totally lost the audience. The large gap between songs was partially due to the audio issues and partially due to the fact that each song required a new guitar and that guitar had to be tuned. I could tell that their musicianship is excellent, but the show I saw last night was something of a disappointment.

Becuase of the late start time of the show, my being exhausted from having driven 7 hours already that day, I left after Band Of Horses' set. Also in consideration was that I had seen Helio Sequence last year during Noise pop. And unfortunately, I was unimpressed that time. As a result, I have no thoughts to add here.


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