6/18/10 New York City, New York -
Before getting in depth about the Isis’ performance, let me say that Isis are without a doubt one of the most consistent bands this decade has seen. In fact, they are generally the first act linked with quality post-metal, as their influence has been that defining. After all, they practically own the genre. It all started with their first full-length, way back in 2000, when the gritty and often brutal Celestial was released, but the tidal wave of followers had not come until after Oceanic dropped in 2002. Ever since, Isis never looked back at what they were doing and how they approached their music, until last month, May 18th to be exact. That date was the end of Isis and the end of an era, and they certainly were not leaving quietly.
Due to Webster Hall’s petty dance parties that begin at 11:00 P.M., the show started and ended rather early, and Isis took much of the grunt from that(approximately three songs cut short from their standard tour setlist). Unlike many bands, Isis performed their own soundcheck and set up most of their equipment, showing their business-like approach to shows. Once everything was in place, they wasted no time, beginning with the tremendous closer from Wavering Radiant, ”Threshold of Transformation.” From that moment on, the crowd moved with every beat and crushing riff, and while Isis hardly prance around on stage, they are fully enveloped in each song, headbanging as far back and as far forward as humanly possible while still executing cleanly and precisely. Their movements were synced with each dynamic change, whether slowly swaying or losing their shit completely.
To put it loosely, it was a marvelous sight that they still held a wealth of emotion for the songs they wrote. But more importantly, coming into tonight, Isis could have easily played their most recent tracks, however they strayed away from a solitary set, and picked absolute gems from their best albums. The only track played from In The Absence Of Truth was “Not In Rivers, But In Drops,” while they went with “In Fiction” and “So Did We” off Panopticon. During “Not In Rivers, But In Drops,” Webster Hall exploded during each dramatic build up. Meanwhile, fans went into a frenzy during the colossal track that likely made them fall in love with the band, “So Did We.” Fittingly enough, Isis closed the set with the opener off Oceanic, “The Beginning And The End,” and this is when we knew it would be their last hurrah. And so they played, with that burning fire in their heart and the passion that produced such cornerstone albums. Before I knew it, Isis were closing up shop and Aaron Turner’s had a select closing remark before their final track, ‘There’s a lot of fear and hatred going on around the world, so try to love each other.’
While it is sad to see such a premier act go, Turner made an important point in their closing note, stating it is better to break up before everything goes wry, or even allowing that possibility. Isis left New York City with a bang and nothing was left behind, just the way they intended.
Isis – In Fiction
- Threshold Of Transformation
- (Collapse And Crush or 20 Minutes / 40 Years)
- Not In Rivers, But In Drops
- Ghost Key
- In Fiction
- So Did We
- The Beginning And The End
Image credit to: Derek Walenta