Saturday, December 13, 2008

Neptune, Parts & Labor, Big Bear, Thief Thief at The Middle East Upstairs

Big Bear


Parts & Labor

Thief Thief

I've seen Neptune, Parts & Labor, and Big Bear play shows with each other in various combinations but this is the first time all 3 of them have played at once. Is it even possible that this show could have been any better? No. Well, yes, but I'm pretty sure that would just make me greedy.

First surprise of the night: My two friends who I thought weren't going to be there showed up. And that was cool. If there's anything we've learned from Into The Wild, it's that it's better to share experiences.

Thief Thief opened up with their fucking tight as shit math rock. Totally awesome. Thief Thief were one of the only ways the night could have been ruined. If they sucked, it could have put me in a bad mood. Fortunately, they were entirely worthy of playing a show with 3 of the best bands ever.

Big Bear came on with their still-new-to-me lineup with a different drummer and a keyboardist who replaced their second guitarist. Jordyn had her necessary thigh pad for intense tambourine smashing and after the obligatory excessive tuning, they tore the place up. All technically "new" songs but only because they haven't put out a record in over 3 years. One song actually was new, though. #23. Hadn't heard that one before but it's fucking badass and I hope it makes it onto the new album. Sadly, the banter was slightly sub par supposedly due to Jordyn's lack of caffeine. Hey, whatever. As long as you make my ears bleed, I'm a happy customer.

I think I was most looking forward to Parts & Labor as I've only seen them 4 times (as opposed to the dozens of times I've seen Big Bear and Neptune) and the fact that they were the only band playing that night that had put out a new record since I'd last seen them. Their newest album Receivers made my year end top 10 list and I was stoked to hear some of it live. Also, they morphed from a trio to a quartet and I was curious to see if that changed anything in their live show. Hardly. They were as awesome as ever and certainly didn't disappoint. Lots of new material was played, as well as some good ol' classics. They also played "an old song," something that had the word "Devil" in the name, I think. Couldn't find any info about it online but I assure you it was a fantastic song.

Here's where I thought the show could be just a bit better. In between sets, they were playing Big Business and I thought, "Hey, they should've played this show too." Only then could it have been better. But like I said, that's just asking a little bit too much.

Neptune played last, played a set consisting almost entirely of material from Gong Lake, and everyone loved them. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing some new stuff from them. The past 3 or 4 times I've seen them they've played the same songs. Fucking amazing songs, but always the same fucking amazing songs. So, yeah. They rock, I love them, I just want more.


Aaron said...

I never knew Parts & Labor were Crystal Understanding.

The pic you posted of P&L is honestly interchangeable with a pic of Crystal Understanding sans crazy lights and shit.

Justin Snow said...

Whoa, you're totally right. Never heard of CU until you mentioned them. Do they still play shows around Boston? I didn't see any concert listings on either of their sites and they seem like they put on a decent live show.

Aaron said...

I'm not sure Justin. They were bouncing around at the Boston Music Awards and Aaron (great name btw) joined Big Digits for a song.

Their live act is definitely interesting.

Nick said...

I'm jealous, man - sounds like a blast.

I'm way into that Parts & Labor record right now, which I'd first read about on here - also on zed equals zee (another great Boston music blog).

That track "Satellites" that opens the record is a thing of beauty - amazing how it sustains that much intensity for 8+ minutes. Love it at the end when it just pummels you with noise.

Justin Snow said...

Yeah, "Satellites" is fantastic. A great way to start an amazing record.