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Thursday, October 08, 2009

October 5, 2009: Seattle, WA: Show Box & October 6, 2009: Portland, OR: Roseland Theater

Recap PNW Shows

Forgive me for not churning out a few thoughts about these shows right off the bat, but my wife and son flew in Monday afternoon; so, my time has been almost completely 100% dedicated to them; it’s been about two weeks since I’ve seen them, and that is long enough for any poor soul and his family.


I give this show a 6 out of 10. I was not happy with the vibe this night because I feel that we didn’t deliver fully as to the expectations projected by the fans; neither did we just had a really bad show nor was it one riddled with technical problems, but there were some limitations via the venue and the set list (which we are still trying to flesh out) that I think affected the overall outcome. It’s a strange thing to try to calculate and explain, but that is the sentiment I got after performing.

Now, I know for sure that some people out there that were in the “sweet spot” of the venue and had a great experience, and the set had its "glory moments." I could see a few of those fans, mainly in the “balcony” sections: the guy in the green shirt playing the best air drums ever, the crowd surfers, etc. Some may be surprised by my remarks and will probably misinterpret them, but it’s a high standard that I’m judging the show by. From start to finish, I want it to be captivating and moving. I think we’re off to a great start on this tour, and I remind myself that it took us three years of playing the old songs to get them to a level that we were happy with.

Also, I believe that someone suffered from a seizure during the show, which is very scary, and I hope that whomever this person is that he or she is okay. I didn't see it actually happen, but I saw that there was some sort of an emergency near the front left of me. I was later told that something of the sorts occurred. I'm sorry that someone had to suffer through that, especially at our show.


I give this show an 8 out of 10. This didn’t have as many people as in Seattle; yet, it felt so much better than the night before. The energy and “liveness” in the room was projecting everywhere. We also tried some different things in the set, like shifting “Pins & Needles” up front, and we were able to pull off Darren’s light drum thing in “No Response.” There was more room overall, and it felt more comfortable. My favorite moment of the set was when DK got everyone off their feet as he stood on top of the bass drum in the crowd.

I know that some people went to both shows, and I’d like to know your thoughts. Please leave a comment.


Jason Ericson said...

I went to the Seattle show and you know...I came away with a similar feeling, strangely. Maybe not a 6/10, I still really enjoyed myself and I think you guys put on an amazing show no matter what, but I don't know. Seattle crowds are not the liveliest, maybe that had something to do with it. Or maybe it was just sort of an off night. Whatever it was, it just felt shy of 100%, which still means it was a better show than almost any other show out there, but I get what you mean.

But I did love a lot of the show. Reset/Break The Same was amazing, Backfire was amazing, Typical was amazing, it was all very tight and very energetic. The only real criticism I can think of is that I felt like Burden dragged on a bit. Maybe it was also cause I was tired, but as cool as some parts of the jam were, I didn't feel like it really went anywhere. But the great majority of the show rocked.

I hope you guys are considering working Goodbye into the set, because that's one of my favorite songs from Armistice. And maybe Control...? I can only hope.

spinthat45 said...

I felt the energy of the crowd was one filled with anticipation of seeing their favorite band.
Seeing the crowd surfing was reminiscent of those early days at the Crocodile. Would have liked to have seen the crowd around me be alittle more involved.
But the crowd on the floor was crazy!! The stage from the upper area looked great. Loved the set up of the arch & video & live footage.
Personally didn't feel the set list was too bad. "Plan B" was amazing! Was in shock that the encore went long. That was nice.
It was obvious that Seattle has missed Mutemath and it was nice to see new fans were there too!!

dave*sapp said...

I was one of the lucky few to be on the front row of the Portland show and you guys killed it... I've been to around 7 of you guys shows through the years up and down the east coast and this one blew them all away... the one thing i noticed from this show and came away with was that you specifically looked like you were enjoying yourself more than any other show in the past... the one moment that caught was during one of the breakdowns i think in armistice (which was raw and dirty beauty) and darren threw in a little extra on a fill and you looked over at him like "that was SICK".... it really shows that you guys are becoming comfortable with the new music and really truly enjoying yourselves up there which is evident in the final product... bravo, bravo, bravo

Peter C. said...

I was at the Portland show. It was my first time seeing you guys, and I was truly blown away. What an awesome experience. The sound was top notch, the show came off great, and the band's stage presence was excellent. I have to say my favorite moments were during "Typical" and "Spotlight," perhaps because those were the songs I knew the best. "Clipping" was fantastic, too. The energy from the band really translated to the audience, no doubt about it. Despite this being near the beginning of the tour, the musicianship seemed quite polished, at least to my ears. I look forward to seeing where it goes from here. Great interplay, great groove, and great bass sound, by the way. It carried really well. Truly a sublime experience. Thank you.

maria said...

I was lucky to be at both shows and agree Portland made up for Seattle. It wasn't the performance but rather the HEAT and small stage. The lighting was so much better in Portland. Love the Roseland.

The highlight for me both nights was the Armistice Jam! WOW so freaking awesome.


I wish it would go longer. I was torn between trying not to rock out so I could get good video footage and just surrendering to the amazing beat! It leaves me wanting more.

The lights in Portland are always so much better. Paul crowd surfing in Seattle was awesome. I always judge the crowd by how they respond to Noticed. It's a tradition of mine to do a 360video of their response. Looking back at the video it looks like both crowds needed to be reminded they were at a MM show! Come on get into it :)

The show went by way too fast. I can't wait for the Spring tour. Also the addition of the vibraphone is SO AWESOME!! Please tell Greg how amazing it is. It just needs to be roughed up a bit more to match the rest of the set!

Be sure to save your 10/10 show for the next time I'm there :)

Unknown said...

Went to the Portland show, I was up front directly in front of Darren. I gotta say, that show made me appreciate you guys on an entirely deeper level (and MM has been my favorite band since the first EP).

The two highlights for me, were when you pulled out your upright bass and when Darren started playing the light drums.

The Pacific Northwest is a depressed place outside of a few months in summer when it's not raining constantly, so for the Seattle crowd not to go wild doesn't surprise me. I know that earlier that evening it seemed like As Tall As Lions was having a tough time getting the crowd going. It didn't take more than about 5 seconds after you guys came out to clear that up though.

I appreciated the length of the set, and the skill and passion you guys have. It made my crappy week/month/etc. a lot brighter.


Colin Ablitt said...

I agree with maria. Seattle was HOT. Just bad ventilation on the venue's part, but not a huge deal. This was my first MM show, and I was surprised at how extensive the set list was (I think there were only 5 or so songs that got missed in the whole repertoire).

Highlights for me were the awesome Armistice jam, Obsolete, pretty much all of Reset/Break, specifically, one part when DK is on his audience-held drum. I expected him to just leap back onto the stage. Instead, he decided to take the Nestea plunge into the crowd. THAT... is trust, if I ever saw it. Oh, and getting Paul's bum in my face when he crowd-surfed was quite an honor. Hahaha.

The crowd didn't seem to get into it until Typical. We saw a bit of jumping, but not a whole lot. I was close to the jumpers and felt disdain towards them from the people around me, as if they were ruining the show. Pfff.

I'd give the show an 8/10. Definitely worth driving all the way out from Vancouver to see the show. Nicely done, boys. :D

Ro-Bot said...

Hi Roy,

I thought the Seattle show was very good. I personally was 'disconnected' ; however do not take that to mean much. I don't get 'moved' at shows much these days. I thought it built well - I wasn't blown away immediately as at my prior two MuteMath shows but as the set went on the energy built. Like it needed extra time to warm up. The crowd went crazy for 'Typical,' you know? I really enjoyed the live renditions of Pins & Needles, Odds, Armistice and Spotlight. The -sound- in the room was amazing, some of the best live sound I've ever heard.

As far as the setlist it was a pretty damn good setlist that most bands don't come near. As far as song choices there wasn't much left you could play! Would be interesting to hear it in a different order - I wonder if putting 'Typical' earlier would have hyped this particular crowd more? I was really happy with the encore - meaning no disrespect I'm not into 'Reset' and was probably going to leave when the group went into that. But the four song encore, closing with 'Break The Same' was excellent.

Vintage cab used on MM debut (two 15" Jensen speakers).