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Last Active 11-02-17 1:35 am
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La Dispute, Pianos Become The Teeth At The Corner

Saw Initials, Pianos Become the Teeth and La Dispute at the Corner Hotel. It's usually a strict bar/restaurant venue but for some reason they did a one-off under 18s show. DarthMann was also there, but I didn't find out until afterward.
7 Initials

One of the best opening acts I've seen in a while. The three-piece Initials displayed a Title Fight-cross-Defeater vibe mixed with strong instrumental grooves and a soulful but gruff vocalist, which made for a very unique sound. Listening to them on record is absolutely no comparison: their studio recordings are a little thin. Live, they played with an intense, heavy melodic hardcore style that sounded well developed and unique. They could have benefited marginally from another guitarist and perhaps vocals higher in the mix, but they proved that with the right atmosphere they could truly create something impressive. 4 out of 5, if I had to score it: a surprisingly strong performance from a supporting act.
6 Pianos Become the Teeth

Pianos killed it: it was unbelievable. They warmed up the crowd with dual openers "I'll Be Damned" and "Filial" and immediately, I was floored. Kyle was as he is on the record, but seeing him live, the passion he pours into his vocals is much, much clearer. I have to give a huge amount of credit to David, who absolutely bashed his drums into oblivion to add a level of aggression that you will not find on the records--this intermixed with the somewhat hazy quality of the guitars to yield a sound that was reminiscent of the production on the "Old Pride" album--angry, somewhat unclear, but fucking impacting.

The band did not once seem weary throughout the entire set, despite the amount of energy that came across, especially at the climaxes of every build. The set was masterfully ordered, with the centrepiece of the nine song set consisting of "Such Confidence", the old favourite "Houses We Die In", "Spine" and "Cripples Can't Shiver". The combo of those four tracks never seemed to let up, and I was smiling like an idiot through the entire thing as post-rock interludes, dialogue samples, tense build-ups and the shattering releases which followed transformed the middle part of the set into something magical. And that wasn't even it: after a twenty-to-thirty second post-rock/feedback break, "Hiding" initiated to a crowd uproar and instantaneously became the highlight of the set. Jordan from La Dispute was brought onstage for "Shared Bodies", and the band finally closed with the heart-wrenching "I'll Get By" in which Kyle was at his most cathartic. In short, Pianos was bursting at the seams with emotion and atmosphere, and the combination was balanced perfectly.
4 La Dispute

La Dispute closed the day with a setlist which mostly jumped between tracks off "Somewhere..." and "Wildlife". Virtually every kid had come mainly to see these guys, and the amount of them singing along to "Harder Harmonies" and "Said the King to the River" was clear evidence. Jordan danced freely and sung often as if out of breath; Chad and Kevin kept getting better and better as the set continued, really hitting their stride by the time the set was about halfway or three-quarters through; and Adam and Brad chilled in the back.

Highlights including "I See Everything", "The Castle Builders" and "Bury Your Flame" saw the band grooving with such cohesiveness that I found myself completely lost in the songs. "all our bruised bodies", "You and I in Unison" and a surprising full-band rendition of "Nine" allowed Jordan to tap into a realm of personal struggle that left me standing still, awestruck. As the set closed with Chad playing the lonesome outro melody of "You and I in Unison", I couldn't help but feel there was more to be played, but a relentless chant for "one more song"--which died at first but was revived about five seconds afterward--called La Dispute up on stage for an encore consisting of "King Park", which was perhaps the best part of the show. The aura of finality in the room that came with the seven-minute encore had kids climbing each other in an effort to crowd-surf or make it onto the stage for a dive, and the song just kept getting heavier, tenser and more powerful until Jordan finally yelled "DON'T WANNA KNOW HOW IT ENDS" and the song cut to silence...
Shit I bought

Pianos Become the Teeth's "The Lack Long After" on clay vinyl, La Dispute's "Wildlife" (2XLP) on yellow vinyl, and the Pianos/Touche Amore split EP on blue vinyl.
Final thoughts

I'll definitely be keeping my eye on Initials: if they can put together a studio album as strong as their live performance, they will find success. Pianos' set ranks within at least the top three of my life, likely at number two; a must see; hell, I think they beat out La Dispute today, if only by a hair. La Dispute is a band with enormous chemistry; when they locked in together, incredible things happened; oh yeah, they're also the kind of band that you should see with all the lyrics already in your head: they have those sorts of lines that are really fun to shout at the top of your lungs.
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