August 28th, The Glass House, Pomona
Boris has been one of the quickest bands to rise in my personal listening rotation since finally getting into them a couple years ago. I was aware of their existence for some time but it wasn't until I picked up Pink that I understood just why they are so revered by fans all across the musical spectrum. Pink's carefully blended mixture of styles won me over from the first calm and droning moments of "Farewell" to the feedback laden outro of "Just Abondoned My-Self". I've also acquired Smile and enjoy it nearly as much, so it was with great anticipation that I journeyed to Pomona to see them in a live setting.
The Glass House has been home to some of my favorite shows in recent memory and I saw no reason why that trend couldn't continue here. Being right on top of the stage for them was a must. The spot was secured due to the early arrival and it was then time for the opening bands to do their business. First up was Helms Alee. Not the worst band in the world. The mixture of sludge, stoner doom and post-rock was interesting enough but the songwriting was too all over the place for me. Thankfully the drummer was very talented and became the highlight of the band's set and was a joy to watch tear across her kit. Next up came Red Sparowes, a band that I had already spent some time with in the past. The album I heard was rather forgettable and average post-rock with elements of metal thrown in. Still, it's not often I see post-rock live so maybe they would sound better here. To my dismay, they never really took off anywhere and just kind of played and didn't excite me or anyone in my party. No matter as Boris were set to erase any memory of the previous two acts.
One of the things that caught my eye as they were setting the stage for Boris was the enormous gong positioned behind the drummer. After checking out multiple pictures from past Boris shows online, I can confirm that it has been there many times before. The band took the stage along with one extra live member on guitar, but he sadly seemed less involved physically because of where he was on the stage, although his sound contribution was no less vital I'm sure. The first song was the infamous opener on Pink, "Farewell". The amount of sound this band puts out is enormous. The guitars were beautiful, whether lightly strumming notes at the beginning or playing the long sustained heavy notes during the rest of the song. An extremely positive start to the night. The band didn't really talk between songs being Japanese and all. But that didn't matter. The goods kept on coming, despite only being familiar with about 1/4 of their material that was played. More delight was had when some of my other favorite songs were played, namely the title track from Pink, "Statement", and "Untitled" from Smile. The set was also balanced quite well too. When the fast material needed to happen, it happened. And the slower numbers were placed in just the right spots when a slight breather was needed. "Untitled" was the closing song and one of the best possible choices I think, and it was definitely one of my personal highlights from the night. And yes, the gong was hit multiple times by the drummer at the end of the song upon repeated request from the crowd. Who doesn't love the epicness of the gong? Afterward I walked away knowing I had just experienced one of the best concerts I've ever been to. And I think I can break it down into four distinct reasons. The first one is that the band was just damn fun to see and hear. The second is that the songs I did know were executed brilliantly live. The third being that I am now interested in checking out their other albums even more so than before, given the delicious sampler of their material on display. And the fourth and final reason is that they have given me every reason to want to go and see them again next time. Come back soon, Boris!
Official Website: http://homepage1.nifty.com/boris/
Band's Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/borisdronevil