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Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Main Pub 10/10/09

Last night's show was the musical equivalent of downing a 5 hour energy shot with a Red Bull chaser. They played a 60 minute opening set that was compact and precise while still leaving plenty of room to cut loose. Setting up in a non-traditional configuration with Jake on stage right, Jason in the center and Jeff over on the right, they settled in for a loud night. Right out of the gate they opened with the full version of 20 In A 35, the song that they previewed last Saturday night. A bluesy jam with similarities to Virtual Circle, this is more restrained and less frenetic, but still maintained it's ferocity. Deep Monster Trance just digs right in and carries you along, this ode to "Where The Wild Things Are" allows Jake the chance to flex some of his vocal muscle. Sea of Wisdom opens and it's warm and frothy vibe is enfolding after the adrenaline one-two punch of the previous songs. The second half of the song just blossoms and sets up Bri beatifully, this song casts an ethereal air over the set, and the haunting melody carries through the final vocals..

The stage set-up tonight really allows Jeff and Jason to achieve almost a telepathic connection during the show. The two play off each other, both totally aware of what the other is doing, Jake is captain of this trip and is able to view both at the same time, it really is a setup I think that works. Virtual Circle is a kick in the teeth, propelled by a triple attack of guitar, bass and drums.
This is such a fast and powerful song just grabbing you and dares you to keep up. Killing Time heard live is a true dichotomy, starting out with such clean and controlled guitar licks, and by the end just enveloping you in a cocoon of sound while it dissipates into a haze of pure noise. Toward the end of the song I had a moment of deja vu as Jason broke his E string. Jason later explaining the break was in fact due to faulty installation, though I'm sure it was a result of a raging case of "slappn' the bass".

The band really does have an advantage with such a solid bass player, Jason really walks between the worlds playing both leads and rhythm licks throughout their sets allowing real freedom for Jeff and Jake to just branch off and explore knowing that the main groove is safe hands. Finishing up with Purple Trees and with a broken string hanging, the band managed to cram an hour and a half set into 63 minutes, totally owning the stage, blowing away the audience and having the time of their lives. I saw a ton of new faces, and the excitement for this band is building. This show was a textbook example of how The McLovins have really turned a corner. Their age was at one time a novelty, but the band is now no mere teen cover band. The Main Pub set featured 7 original compositions, 3 of which have been written since the second week of August and they have become much tighter musically. When cover songs are performed, they are instead starting points, familiar raiment that the bad dons while still probing musically. The know just what to expect from each other, and when the unexpected does occur, they have proven to be extremely adaptable. They have upped their vocal game a notch or two, and as a group have proven to be prolific and capable in their songwriting. I hate to seem gushy, but this is such a solid band now, they should be convinced they can do anything, and many fans agree with them. A corner has been turned, the path from where they came from may now be out of sight, but the path forward is laid out before them, all they have to do is move forward.

"I pulled back on the roadway,
and shifted into overdrive"

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