words by BBG, photos by Chloe Rice
Coalesce, amongst the mayhem
Holy crap, thanks new York. You gave us an amazing show to end the year on. Loved being in our own element again. See you in the spring. -[Coalesce]Coalesce returned to NYC on 12/30/09 as part of a BV-sponsored bill that included the great Coliseum and A Storm of Light. Tournament's tight and competent riffy punk opened the show, with an oddly sourced Your Skull My Closet following closely behind.
A Storm of Light followed, though this was definitely not the incarnation that I was familiar with; Geoff Summers of Batillus filled in on drums (much like he did on their European tour) while Zohra Atash (Religious To Damn) added a second set of pipes, filling in on the female vocals previously occupied by Nerissa Campbell. Zohra's vocals sat below the more omnipresent guitars, a shame as Campbell's vocals were one of the more interesting parts from their Studio set. The big guitars made me wish that I had caught them with Will Lindsay (Wolves In The Throne Room) on second guitar.
Coliseum followed Storm with new drummer Carter Wilson in tow. Former drummer Chris Maggio was missed for his out-there theatrics, but Wilson pulled it off effortlessly. The Louisville band barreled through the classics like a freight train, playing quite a few new jams and pausing to humbly thank the audience for their support. Ryan Patterson (vox/guit) also offered his thoughts on health care, especially in light of Vic Chesnutt's alleged suicide, possibly due to overblown medical bills. Ryan said that if there was any justice, they would have treated Vic like a national treasure. I agree.
After the show, I discussed the new songs with Patterson, who said that they will record their new LP with J. Robbins in early spring, hitting the road shortly thereafter. We'll be waiting.
The main event was nothing short of extraordinary; Coalesce is absolutely insane on stage. The band sounds exactly the same (mix and guitar/bass tones) live as on record, and their performance was tight and powerful. Jes (guitar) riffs in all the right places, with the dead space occupied by Sonic Youth style noise, possessed looks to the crowd, and smacks to his instrument, all while his body pulses and convulses like he's being electrocuted. Vocalist Sean Ingram spent a good portion of his time bouncing between the front row and belting out vocals, when the audience weren't filling in for him. I can safely say that I have never seen the crowd as insane at Europa as they were during the Coalesce classic "You Can't Kill Us All"... Converge earlier in 2009 included.
Video from Coalesce's performance, their setlist and tons of pics, below...
Your Skull My Closet
A Storm of Light
Coalesce | NYC @ Club Europa | 30 Dec 2009