photos by Grant MacAllister, words by Parker Langvardt
This Will Destroy You @ Lincoln Hall - 2/1/12
Amen Dunes performed a hazy, psychedelic, set to begin the night. The drummer used felt-tipped mallets and a maraca on the first song, with snares loosened as to not make contact with the bottom of the snare drum. The second song featured some creepy and slightly uncomfortable chord changes, relieved by the pleasant chords and spacey keyboards of the third song. At a certain point the heavy reverb on the vocals and instruments got a bit tiresome, but they changed up the vocals with looping and scrambling effects.
Mountains (the second band of the evening) pulled out a table covered with synthesizers and effects pedals, linked together with a colorful myriad of cords. It all spilled down to the floor, where the duo controlled pedals with their feet while sitting behind the table with their guitars, one acoustic and the other electric. They began to create a bright, soothing drone, which morphed over the course of their entire performance. Quick, light chords, finger-style picking, and bowed acoustic guitar contributed to the swelling volume of the drone while a cloud fractal was projected on a screen above them. They played small synthesizers and adjusted some pedals to change the character of the sound, eventually creating a sense of rhythm and melody. Their visuals later turned to forest canopies, man-made bee hives, and some abstract refracted light. Towards the end of the performance the drone sounded like waves crashing on a beach, strongly swelling in the last few moments before ending in a sharp withdrawal.
This Will Destroy You guitarist Chris King strummed his guitar to create an ambiguous, crescendoing drone that was emitted from the speakers while his pick could be heard hitting the strings due to the very live acoustics of Lincoln Hall. The seismic bass rumbled along to an electronic beat for the crowd-pleasing opener "A Three-Legged Workhorse." They worked their way into the descending chord progression of "There Are Some Remedies Worse Than The Diseases," with warm muted bass and drums that had a nice, full "thud" to them when hit with felt-tipped mallets. The song progressed to a post-metal intensity with distorted guitars and bass chords before crashing into a thick decay.
The looping strings and deep choral sounds of "Black Dunes" flowed softly over the minimalist beat, which focused on the pinging ride cymbal. King's resonating e-bow created smooth ethereal sounds out of his amp while audibly rattling against his strings (at least in close proximity) during "Glass Realms" before the majestically funereal "Communal Blood." The backing track of "They Move On Tracks of Never-Ending Light" had African percussion rhythms and crisp, precise electronic sounds similar to a thumb dragging down a deck of cards. Bassist Donovan Jones played the Rhodes piano, which had the deep pluck of a large music box.
Unlike many post-rock bands, This Will Destroy you has strong stage presence that matches their music. None of them really go wild though, letting their music handle the most intense parts of the performance. Their shows are very solemn, but the audience occasionally gets riled up from the intense songs. There were some gritty, drunken "woo!"s from the audience, which led guitarist Jeremy Galindo to quietly scat "skiddly diddly doo" without a microphone.
Check out the seltist and more pictures from the Chicago show, below...
This Will Destroy You
This Will Destroy You Setlist
A Three-Legged Workhorse
There Are Some Remedies Worse Than The Diseases
Burial on the Presidio Banks
They Move on Tracks of Never-Ending Light
The Mighty Rio Grande