There are a million ways a show can stun you. I was stunned by the pure beauty of Jacob Banks’ voice on Wednesday night. Last night I was stunned by the artistry, chaos and pure energy of the Daughters show. Honestly, it doesn’t matter how you’re stunned. All that matters is that music you go see live makes you feel something and that’s exactly what the three bands at The Turf Club last night did. Sure, I was feeling the strangers knocking into me and beer and ice being thrown over head but I was also feeling the passion and the love for music that every musician that graced the stage had.
The smoke was working over time and the sage was burning bright as duo HIDE took the stage. I was instantly captivated as I watched vocalist Heather Gabel stalk the stage as Seth Sher stood behind a table of chords and pads creating dark and intriguing sounds. Now, full disclosure, I don’t know this scene well enough to use technical terms or even explain it in a scientific way but I’m still going to go for it. The music had a very gothic dungeon vibe to it which was enhanced by the smoke and sage smell. The only light on the duo was a strobe light that seemed to be going off nearly the entire time. Although this made getting picture impossible for my little camera, it gave HIDE’s set a very cool atmosphere and made Heather’s fluid-like movements seem jagged and rough. I wish I had more to say about this duo and their set but I think I was just so in shock and so intrigued by the visuals, the audio and everything else that by the time I was ready to take my eyes off the stage and start jotting down some notes, their set was done and the stage was being cleared off for the next act.
I was still in shock when Wolf Eyes took the stage. That shock instantly turned to confusion, intrigue, and honestly one of the biggest “What in God’s name is this?” moments I’ve ever had at a show. I’m going to be honest, it wasn’t for me. The duo that is Wolf Eyes take the phrase experimental music to a whole new level that I just couldn’t get on. That being said, I was floored by their creativity and their obvious passion for their craft. Nate Young spent most of his time behind a table with cords and buttons covering every inch (yes, I’m sure there’s a name for this contraption but I honestly just don’t know it and don’t even know how to go about Googling it) but it was John Olson who had me stuck. Every time I looked at him he had a different homemade (or at least I’m assuming homemade) instrument in hand. From a clarinet shaped thing with a giant bell shaped end to this weird thing that looked to be PVC pipe with a reed and spring and some strings attached (yeah, no way to explain that), I found my eyes glued on him waiting to see what else he had up his sleeves. Again, their spacey and very avant-garde sound was a bit over my head but their passion was not and made me a fan of theirs instantly. I grew up with my dad blaring Sun Ra in the mornings and all I could think of were the similarities between that music and the music of Wolf Eyes. A modern day Sun Ra, I don’t get it just like I never got my dad’s obsession with Sun Ra, I understood and because of that, I respect it.
Closing out the very different, intriguing yet truly amazing night of music was the almighty Daughters. As soon as the group took the stage, the mood in the audience shifted from concentration to pure chaos. The people that had been put into a near trance by Wolf Eyes seemed to snap out of that trance with the first note and the sold out audience erupted into a ball of fury and energy just like the band. Since 2002, Daughters has been putting out unique music that blends noise, metal, grindcore, post-punk and a million other genres together. It’s chaotic and loud but also clearly well-thought out and put together. The group took no mercy on the crowd and blasted the audience with song after song. Much like the other bands, I was, again, in shock, but this time it was because of the immeasurable amount of energy that was radiating off the stage and, in turn, was reflected in the audience.
I couldn’t sing along to the songs like the audience members around me could but I felt that passion which made me feel like I was part of whatever was going on in there. With people screaming at vocalist Alexis S.F. Marshall and Alexis was screaming right back at them. Although intense and almost aggressive, being lost in the audience was more than comfortable and I found myself in my happy place. I don’t know why it took me so long to jump onto the Daughters train but, after seeing them live, I’m definitely not getting off any time soon.
My week started off super rough but is ending stronger than I could have ever imagined. Cheers to the shows that make you feel something and remind you of just how powerful a passion for music can be.