Much like Tuesday night, I felt like I was a bit in over my head when I walked into The Turf Club on Wednesday night for my show of choice: Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle. It’s not that I felt uncomfortable because I feel more at home at any of my local venues than anywhere else, more that I felt a bit out of my element. Like usual, I was kind of going in blind. Sure, I knew of the bands playing and I didn’t know them. I honestly couldn’t tell you one song title by any of them and it was instantly clear that I was alone in that boat as the conversations around me revolved around the last time people saw these bands live. I leaned against the wall and took it all in and felt my excitement levels rise as I realized all of the conversations were about how amazing that last show was and how brilliant this one was going to be. A fish out of water, maybe, but I was excited for whatever was in my future.
Without any introduction, local band Without took the stage and instantly whisked the quickly growing audience away to another world with their sound. Airy and light while still having this intensity behind it, it was hard not to be captivated by this group as they played through their quick set. Even though they were the most quiet and somber of the night with their unique style that can only be described as ambient doom, there was still something highly energetic about their set. My eyes seemed to be glued on the vocalist (my apologies but I couldn’t find any band member names online) for the sole reason of you could feel the words, not just hear them. The way she delivered the lyrics was a thing of beauty without trying to be. Without’s set was short but it packed a punch and although it’s not my typical cup of tea, I was definitely drinking it all up while I had the chance.
The way that Emma Ruth Rundle’s songbird-like voice mixed with the intensity of vocalist Bryan Funck was truly goose-bump inducing. You would think that Bryan’s growls and primal sounding vocals would overpower the sweetness of Emma’s but that was far from the case. Emma’s voice has an energy about that, although completely different than Bryan’s, easily held it’s own. As mentioned, walking in blind I couldn’t tell you what song was who’s or anything like that but I think that just goes to prove the creativity, artistry and respect that was on the stage. Without trying to be anything than what they were, both Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle brought their own style and sound to the stage and made it a partnership that I truly hope continues to grow past these couple of tour dates. Dark and intense while being light and sweet, this set was one of those sets where I was completely lost in the music and the energy.
My two past shows have leaned towards the doom and sludge metal scene. I have to be honest, I’ve never really gotten into those scene but after the passion and creativity I saw on stage both Tuesday night at the YOB show and then last night– well, I think I have a rabbit hole to go down.