Sunday, August 3, 2008

Boris-Live at the GAMH

My tolerance for metal, doom and sludge sure ain’t what it used to be, but that said, I have a big soft spot for Boris. Perhaps it’s their indelicate balance between total heaviosity and transcendentally beautiful moments. I didn’t dive full in until last year’s collaboration with Ghost guitarist Michio Kurihara. He’s one of my absolute faves and their album Rainbow was one of the standouts of 2007. It was a good place for me to start, figuring the atmospheric moments might outweigh the brain scraping moments. Since then, I’ve been digging a bit into the back catalogue and am head over heels into the new album Smile. The incendiary Statement is hands-down the best track of the year, wielding brutal Stooges riffage courtesy of ice queen guitarist Wata. It’s a total metallic k.o. Last night I sauntered down to the Great American Music Hall with my buddy Jimmy G. to check the band out in action. Fantastic show all around. As a bonus, Kurihara was touring with the band. Heavy smoke machine set the tone and to class things up, drummer Atsuo Mizuno donned a white satin shirt, plus white gloves, making all the giant gong playing that much more impressive. The set clocked in at 90 brain-rattling minutes. The first half of the show mined the heavy vein, with the second half getting more trippy and expansive, culminating in an epic slow and low rendition of Introduction from Akuma No Uta. Many great highlights, but I was really digging the more, dare I say, poppy version of My Neighbor Satan from the new record. Interestingly I often feel that Kurihara is an odd fit into the live Boris show. His guitar playing can be so delicate and atmospheric and has the ability to beautifully slice through a song. His subtleties are often lost when Boris heads into metallic overdrive. For the heavy stuff I kind of think Boris are better served by just one guitar instead of the sludge inducing two-guitar attack. Strangely, Kurihara has worn the exact same shirt every time I’ve seen him play (4 times in the last several years.) What’s up with that? Does he have only one shirt? A closet full of the exact same shirt? Do we need to take up a collection to get him a new one? In any event, my ears are still humming, and that’s a nice Sunday morning vibe.

Here's a clip of the live version of My Neighbor Satan. Kurihara is lost in the fog somewhere and you can't hear the vocals, but be sure to check out the white gloves.

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