Death & Taxes Tour featuring:
Copeland, The Appleseed Cast, Acute, Owen
November 22, 2006
The El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA
A special thanks to Libby and MSOPR for letting me attend this show!
While entering the famous El Rey Theatre on a seemingly quiet, pre-Thanksgiving wednesday night, slowly but surely my bias towards the current music scene was lifted. Not since seeing Bad Religion at age 13 have I ever felt like one of the younger in attendance at a concert. However, the crowd that was present for this tour was not ridden with parents escorting their scandalously dressed daughters to the merch area and purchasing all of the brightly colored t-shirts and posters; sensing some bitterness?
For this type of show, the crowd began as quite an intimate group, taking in the soft but intense acoustic stylings of opening act Mike Kinsella, known as Owen. Kinsella formerly played a few different roles in the band American Football but has ventured under the title Owen since 2002. His songs are very well structured but his voice doesn’t keep up with the beauty of his guitar work. He definitely did a great job as an opening act.
Up next was Los Angeles’ own Acute. Formed with former members of Poulain, Ozma, and Whispertown 2000, this 4-piece brings a solid blend of indie, pop, and rock. With singer Isaac Lekach also controlling all of the guitar work, it’s quite impressive how the band fills up open space. Drummer Patrick Edwards maintains the rhythm almost perfectly enough to believe he’s playing to a metronome and bassist Colt Maloney is always right beside him. What impressed me the most was the latest addition to the band in Jason Borger. He did an incredible job using two keyboards and different voices and tones to add the feeling that the live show was just as impressive as a recording of the band. I would love to see what they could do with a second guitarist in a live performance.
Third, was the always incredible Militia Group band, The Appleseed Cast. Since 1998 this band has been touring in support of multiple full-lengths, most recently Peregrine. Their sound is far superior every other artist in this vein of music, and what bothers me is how much longer they’ve been doing it than everyone else who tries to copy their sound. I wish I had something to balance out all of the positive things to say, but in this case, I can only give praise. Don’t take my word for it, check out any of their several releases and be prepared for something different and better than what you currently listen to.
Copeland, is a band that at one point changed my perspective of the potential of music. Unfortunately, while some of the songs from that era still remain as staples, some have been re-worked to fit the current direction the band is headed. Recently releasing their third full-length record “Eat, Sleep, Repeat” and meeting much critique and acclaim, I felt as though I owed the band enough to judge on more than a recording. Unfortunately, the live performances of boring songs are just that, nothing more. While bringing down the pace of the past’s more upbeat and passionate songs, I still love them, but I grow fonder of my pillow for purposes of sleep rather than the tears they once used to manifest within me.
On the verge of reaching success the band greatly deserves, this slew of new songs just doesn’t make the cut that my expectations have been set at. For me, the band has taken a step to the side, not a step forward and has much more ground to make up with new material past what was so recently introduced. While I still recommend Copeland’s live show, don’t expect the gut-wrenching emotion that was once displayed. Take it as you will, and enjoy it.