Sunday evenings have the essence of an anxiousness that refuses to cease. The excitement and adrenaline in waiting to experience John LaMonica and This Will Destroy You should have obliterated my heart, especially considering how the venue had to push back opening doors by an hour due to “stage set-up difficulties”. Upon witnessing John LaMonica’s intense DJ set, all was forgiven.
Promoting his new album– released April 27– John LaMonica performed tracks featured on Volunteers. John LaMonica’s performance exuded passion, sounding of a playful trance, twists of darkness, the cries of whatever crawls around in the red-light district, and magic. The Parish lights were viscous dark colors that enhanced the grungy-electronic house party music.
One of the more exciting things about witnessing live performances is seeing the connection between the musician and the music they create. Their instruments become additional appendages and if the artist does everything with heart, you’re almost convinced it is their very soul spinning the turntable, strumming the chords, and relentlessly beating on the keys. Watching John LaMonica, you can see and feel every beat, every buzzard– distorted chord– and it is such a convincing performance, you’re even convinced his body is manipulating the volume of the sound.
Following LaMonica was the relatively new band, The Nighty Nite. Encompassing the styles of progressive-instrumental and punk-rock, the band, featuring Jordan Geiger and Kevin Schneider from Shearwater, Jason Congleton from The Paper Chase, and violinist Chris Tignor from Wires Under Tension put on a memorable and intense show. The lyrics were dark, the lights were bright and in a chaotic strobe, and the heavy fog and dissonance all enhanced the performance.
Emerging past midnight was the most anticipated performance of the evening, headliners This Will Destroy You. The band kicked off with their trademark sounds of dissonance– a distorted and chaotic composition– pushing and pulling tirelessly as the musicians savagely ravished their instruments. Their sonorous sounds, steady and as vivid as the royal blue light that coated everything on stage, resonated in the wooden structure of The Parish.
During their last track, “Quiet”– by the request of an encore from the audience–, This Will Destroy You encompassed the very definition of a band– one entity, one stream of consciousness expressed through a series of compositions. The artists were all connected with every strum, every bang, every riff and pounding of the drums; no one was there to see the attractive drummer in the back, or the guitarist sporting the cap– this was about This Will Destroy You, a deity of instrumental-progressive-rock that ravished the stage without shame and without remorse.
The evening progressed into this foggy, late-night experience; the dissonance introduced by LaMonica was carried on by This Will Destroy You– which did just as the title threatened; in the harrowing hours of the night, off of East 6th, inside The Parish, we were destroyed in the most brilliant and beautiful of ways.
(This Will Destroy You performed at The Parish on June 12, 2011)