Meshuggah Tear Down The Myth


The future of The Myth Nightclub in Maplewood, MN is in jeopardy. Honestly, when I saw the news, I didn’t think twice. Sadly, this venue is just not a favorite of mine or anyone else in the cities. It’s a bit too far into the burbs and is known for having, well, issues. I won’t bad talk about the venue because a venue is a venue and, when your life depends on live music, you don’t take any venue for granted but I didn’t think twice when I read the news and figured my life wouldn’t change without The Myth. Naturally, my show on Friday was at the Myth and although I don’t give them all of the credit for how amazing the evening was, I do think I’ll be a bit sad if this venue closes. Free parking, great sightlines– there are some benefits to the suburban venue but I digress. You’re not here to hear about the venue, you’re here to hear about the show.

Florida-born Torche was the first band to take the stage. A bit of a supergroup, Torche has been around since 2004 and has members from various defunct groups including Floor, Cavity, Tyranny of Shaw– the list goes on and on. Their sound is unique. It’s definitely heavy and intense but it has this sludge and stoner metal quality to it that makes it stand out in an otherwise oversaturated scene. Although I would call them metal for lack of a better word, vocalist Steve Brooks has been cited saying that they do not consider themselves a metal sound and I think that’s a fair statement. It is so much more than just metal and that made their forty-minute set seem to fly by. Their set was essentially non-stop outside of a quick introduction of the band that felt a bit awkward in a very personable way. Unfortunately, Friday night is probably the last time I and the rest of the audience in attendance will ever see Torche play. Prior to this tour, they announced that it would be their last. That’s a bummer. They are a powerhouse of a band that was an absolute delight to watch. Friday may have been the last time I see Torche perform but hopefully, it won’t be the last time I see their amazing members grace a stage in front of me.

Full disclosure, I was mostly at the show on Friday night to see Converge. Don’t get me wrong, seeing Torche and being able to see Meshuggah live was the cherry on top but I was waiting in palpable anticipation as the stage was turned over for Converge. Since 1990, Converge has been making music that is unapologetically theirs. I honestly don’t recall ever seeing them live before so I was all-in as the band took the stage. With nods to the hardcore scene and even, at times, the noise scene, I loved the intensity of their set. The intensity didn’t just come from the music, it also came from the members. Vocalist Jacob Bannon could not stand still to save his life but that’s not a complaint at all. The way he stalked the stage before stopping, kneeling, and screaming his lungs out just added to the intensity of the set. Really, all members were moving around but my eyes seemed to be glued on Jacob the whole time. There’s just something so severe and intense about his presence that it draws you in and dares you to look away. When reflecting on his music, Jacob explained to the crowd that “it’s loud and has sounds… I like it” and, really, that is the perfect way to describe Converge. It makes you feel anything and everything you want to feel while giving you an outlet to get rid of the bad stuff. Cheesy, I know, but beyond the clear talent and flawlessness of the music, that was the aspect that stuck out to me the most throughout their fifty-minute set.

It’s not that I didn’t want to stay but, if I’m being honest, Meshuggah, the headliner, just has never done it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely understand the importance of the Swedish metal band that truly paved the way for so many acts after them but they’ve just never been “my band”. That’s when they took the stage with such drama and heart. I was sold almost instantly. Meshuggah’s set-up on Friday night is one of the biggest I have ever seen take the stage at The Myth. Towers of lights were positioned throughout the stage leaving almost no room for the musicians. I thought it was a bit much but, as they kicked into what would turn into a set lasting late into the night, I realized that it all worked and really added a larger-than-life visual to their powerful and staggering sound.

Meshuggah has put their time in. They have been around since 1987 and still features two original members and one member that joined in 1989. The connection that these men have formed together as a band was evident as they powered through their set in perfect harmony. Being not a diehard fan means I can’t tell you what songs they played or from which of their nine studio albums said songs came from but I can tell you that every song seemed to be a favorite of the packed audience. Outside of small pauses between tracks, the audience, much like the band, never stopped moving along to the powerful music.