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Old Man Gloom
Support: Mare, HSY
Date: Monday September 7th, 2015
Venue: Lee's Palace in Toronto, Ontario
T-shirt worn: plain black again (the stank heat and sweatiness this summer has made me avoid wearing too many of my metal shirts this summer)

Even though I haven't been in school for over fifteen years Labour Day is still my least favorite day of the year. It still signifies the end of summer even though the heat and non-sweater weather is at least a month away. I went to a lot of cool shows this summer so I figured I'd close this one out with one last hurrah. I've only heard of Old Man Gloom and I didn't even know who was opening going in to the show. So no sets this time, just reviews. I’ll keep my eye on setlist.fm and see if one gets added.

I got to the venue too early because I was worried about hitting Labour Day cottage traffic, of which there was none. So I sat on the most uncomfortable bench known to man and waited.

Thankfully HSY came on about half an hour after I got there and I had an excuse to stand up. When have I ever been thankful to move? They were pretty terrible. They reminded me of early Sonic Youth (which is good) minus anything that made early Sonic Youth good. They had moments but they ended a lot of their songs really early, like after an intro and a verse. They were pretty chaotic and disjointed but not in a good way. And they had death vocals, which didn't fit their music. Their drummer had a cool sound but her skill level rivaled Meg White of the White Stripes. But who knows? People probably scoffed at Sonic Youth thirty years ago. Maybe HSY will release their Daydream Nation in a few years. Their guitarist was really cute too.

Mare...oh my, Mare. Now that was a confusing performance. It ranged from chaotic hipster-doom to angelic choirs that reminded me of Muse. Their vocalist was very, very good. He had quite the range but it really didn’t fit a lot of what they were doing. I liked the angelic choruses but anything beyond that was fucking horrid. Halfway through their set they played their cover of the Melvins Night Goat and then it dawned on me that I'd heard of them and have one of their songs on CD. Unfortunately it's the leadoff song on one of the worst albums I've heard in my life: the Melvins cover album We Reach from ten years ago. Overall they were pretty terrible. I wasn't sure during their whole set if there wasn't some joke I wasn't in on because the singer kept laughing and the crowd was in on it with him. And I almost saw a fight during their set. This was the last band and the last show I ever thought I'd see a fight during.

I had a feeling Old Man Gloom would be much better when their soundcheck consisted of a couple guitars and then distorted wind for five minutes. Unfortunately they never really did. They had a few wicked riffs but they were too far between. Vocally I liked it when the guy with the beard sang. I suspected he was the guy from Isis because his voice really reminded me of the Oceanic album. I didn't like the bass players vocals. I suspect he was the guy from Cave-In and I remember his vocals being the one part of the one album I have by them that I didn't like (Perfect Pitch Black). And album that I ironically bought the same day and at the same time as the aforementioned Melvins tribute album. Oh. My. God.

They were better than the openers but quite frankly leaving would have been better than the openers. I just couldn’t get in to this show and my summer concert series ended with a whimper rather than a something better than a whimper.

Follow up:

Yeah, this show did nothing for me. I've never listened to any of these bands since but I was was probably too hard on Old Man Gloom. Oh, an the guy I thought was from Isis was from Isis. In fact, it's their main guy Aaron Turner.
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