MONO are probably my favourite post-rock band out there, and catching one of their live shows has always been more of an experience rather than an actual gig for me.
This night’s support was Helen Money. Now, I am normally into some rather unusual musical stylings, but Helen Money's repertoire was a bit over my head. An effect pedal, a loop station, a cello and her. Her music was definitely intense, and so was her performance in general, but I couldn't seem to relate to the whole thing. Extremely loud blast beats seemed to randomly came out of nowhere, scaring the living shit out of everyone in the room, whilst the overall atmosphere of her show couldn't really compete with the overwhelming soundscapes that were to follow (not that that was the point, just saying).
However, on the other hand, MONO were phenomenal. Stoic and solid as a rock, they went through a discography-spanning set and made an hour and half breeze by like it was nothing. Both guitarists sitting on stools as usual, however, during the crescendo of most songs, Taka seemed to be swept away by the intenseness of the band's music and often found himself on the floor with this guitar, either playing on his knees, sitting it upwards and utilizing the feedback to produce the sound he wanted, or simply leaving it down and focusing on his effect pedals, manipulating frequencies, tones and whatnot.
Their new double record was featured thrice in their 9 song set, whilst my personal favourite, "Hymn To The Immortal Wind" was featured four times. Their show could be considered minimal, if you are to exclude the impressive kit drummer, Yasunori Takada, had which includes a gong (of course it does) and Taka's sudden emotional outbursts.
As I said before, their live shows are more of an experience rather than a show, and I would often find myself with my eyes closed, going down the same mental paths I follow when listening to one of their songs. Yet again, I have to mention that the sound in the Stereo was yet again great. Everything was crystal clear and exactly how it was supposed to be.
Now, the only thing I can wish for is a joint tour with compatriots, Envy, so I can get the chance to hear “The Hands That Hold The Truth” live.
Pure As Snow (Trails Of The Winter Storm)
Where We Begin
Halcyon (Beautiful Days)
Ashes In The Snow
Photos: Thomas Horne