Firstly, yes, it HAS been a long while since I've posted. That said, let's get on with it! I recently had opportunity to attend the 2013 edition of Triton Fest in NY, which is a big goth rock/dark electronic fest held yearly. This year it was a 3 day event starting off at Gramercy Theatre in NYC for Thursday and Irving Plaza for Friday and Saturday. It couldn't be all 3 days at Irving as they were hosting The Mission (UK) on Thursday... but more on that to come below (yes, that IS what she said...).
Right, get on with it, I arrived at Irving without tickets as my plans had been in flux re: how days I would attend. This worked out to my advantage as I was able to score a sold-out VIP pass for the price of a regular ticket from someone with extra. I was thus advanced from lowly ticket-less attendee-hopeful to backstage-buddy, as the VIP ticket allowed me to meet all the bands. I had one goal: meet Sean Brennan of London After Midnight. Mission accomplished (no, I am not punning a tease on the show reviewed below, be patient). Conveniently, I had brought the booklet for 2007's (their most recent release) "Violent Acts Of Beauty" in the off-chance that I ran in to him. He signed it and was super-friendly and approachable. He talked to me about previous LAM shows in the region over the years as well as discussed the artwork for the album. Insider info: the photo in the center IS him as a child, taken by his father with a '3D camera' so you have to hold it at arm's length and cross your eyes, etc. to see the '3D.' Sean also looked incredible, I must say. Apparently exercise and a vegan diet are working well for him!
So, to the show: all the bands were enjoyable, but special mention goes out to Psyclon Nine for their energy. They are a little to 'chuggity-wuggity' with their guitar riffs to keep me interested long or to become a huge fan (though there was certainly some great bits for me), but they have talent and massive energy so even if you don't care for them musically (as I don't), I recommend seeing them live if you get the chance. I also give them credit for trying to bring American-style Black Metal to dark electronic fans. ANYWAY, I have been a fan of London After Midnight since the mid-2000's and was mega-stoked to see them. They delivered, too. There was a running film for all the songs, reminding me of Sean's film/visual background (they ARE named after an obscure and basically lost silent film, after all!) which was entertaining, however the band kept it hard to take my eyes off them. The set was solid, with choices of all my favorite cuts from each album. I can't complain except that I would have wanted more songs. This of course was impossible as each band had a tight slot to play and LAM had to leave time for Birthday Massacre and Dawn of Ashes. I will add that LAM had some sound issues but Sean explained that there was a too-brief sound check. Honestly, they still sounded great to me, but then I am used to shows with sloppy sound (this being a benefit in some cases). Since nothing from the remaining bands could top that performance for me I skedaddled afterwords. I HIGHLY recommend London After Midnight (the band) if you like ANY 90's Goth Rock (and I think they are one of the best). What sets them apart is their political lyrics, most notable on "Violent Acts..." and catchy melancholy that doesn't forget how to rock. LAM closed their set with their classic "Sacrifice" and I will do the same:
NOW, about the Mission. I will first say that I did get to see The Sisters Of Mercy on Halloween about 7 or so years ago, so now seeing Wayne Hussey perform, it's almost like I got to see the "First, Last, and Always" line-up of SOM. Sort of. That's besides the point of this post though, the Mission stand strong on their own. Wayne's jangly guitars always interest me and he really knocks it home with some melodies on many of their songs. This was my first time seeing them and I loved every minute of it! I also got to introduce a friend to them via the show. I am quite jealous as his first exposure to them was a live performance! The tour was to support their new album "The Brightest Light" which I must say was quite enjoyable. Very catchy, delivered just about as well for me as their classic early albums (though "God's Own Medicine" will probably always be untoppable for me, I just relate too much it). The new song 'Black Cat Bone' sticks out for me quite a bit from the album.
Wayne had some interesting choices for the set as they opened AND closed with new songs though we did have to wait for 'Wasteland.' There was at least one encore (there may have been a second but I had work at 8 AM at it was already about midnight, yes I'm like an old man). The short of it is that the Mission still delivers a great live show and a great album so if you're already a fan, try to share both with them, if you're not a fan, check them out!
*Reviews copyright The Samnambulist, 2013*