Black Rebel Motorcycle Club–Live at Masquerade

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I guess email marketing works.  I’ve been reminded of this upcoming concert several times a week from the various events/tickets/entertainment emails I get.  Absent my concert buddy, my son leapt at the chance once he heard that Death From Above 1979 was playing with them.  I thought that they were opening for BRMC, but it’s more of a co-headlining deal as evidenced by a good sized crowd when we arrived and the amount of merch they bring with them.  This doesn’t usually happen for an evening with three bands on the slate.   We arrived in time to catch a few songs by Deap Valley (not misspelled), two female rockers and the true opener.  I quickly understood that the volume level would be high and that the lyrics would be unintelligible, even standing behind the mixing booth.

We moved closer to the speakers in time for DFA, which turns out to be two guys, one playing bass like it’s a guitar, and a drummer/singer.  Loud, hard, aggressive – self-described as a dance-punk duo – my son informs me that there may be a mosh pit.  There wasn’t, but I wouldn’t have been surprised.  I didn’t see or hear much of the dancing variety, but the band had the punk vibe down.  I was entertained to a degree, but those who enjoyed it most knew the words before they arrived.   Giving selected songs a listen in arears, I like their recorded work better, and I’d probably like some of their songs live in a better venue.  It was an 11 song set, of which two managed to resonate a little, “Black History Month” and “Trainwreck 1979.”  Why?  Because they had some semblance of a tune, as opposed to just a riff.

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So, with a warmup band and two headlines, the expectation is for a 4.5 hour bout of standing (no seats in this venue).  After moving to the middle and finding ourselves standing behind giants, my son was agreeable to a reasonable wall space where we could lean for the duration.  Ah, a wall to lean on – shifting feet, bending… good things.  BRMC finally came on and rocked the night away, especially compared with their 2013 show, with only 8 songs overlapping.  Regrettably, they didn’t choose to play “American X” this night, though they have a couple times on this tour.

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Of course, I came to see BRMC, so it’s no surprise that I could fathom some of the words, particularly the choruses due to the repetition.  It’s unfortunate that such a revered venue sucked this night on their overall sound.  They only have about three weeks left to get it right as they’re moving to Underground Atlanta due to real estate pressures on the current property.  In a way, this is unfortunate, because the Masquerade has a very unique atmosphere, with three different floors and an aged building that looks aged.

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The band played two new songs, “Bandung Hum” (“This is the fast one”) and “Haunt” which I favored by quite a bit.  I’ll have to wait for the next album to hear what they’re actually about… 

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Overall, it was a good outing – exposure to a different band that I otherwise would not have heard, and confirmation that BRMC belongs in my music collection when the mood strikes.  Maybe next time they’ll play at Variety Playhouse, or perhaps Masquerade will hire professionals for outfitting their new venue. Oh, and 10 points off for not playing an encore.

BRMC-32

Set lists:

Death from Above 1979 Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Always On Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
Right On, Frankenstein Rival
Virgins Ain’t No Easy Way
Cheap Talk Shuffle Your Feet
Black History Month Hate the Taste
Trainwreck 1979 Berlin
Little Girl Bandung Hum
White is Red Haunt
Romantic Rights 666 Conducer
Government Trash Conscience Killer
The Physical World Awake
  Red Eyes and Tears
  Six Barrel Shotgun
  Spread Your Love
  Whatever Happened to My Rock ‘n’ Roll

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