Posted by: Miles | June 2, 2009

Battles at the Sydney Opera House 30/5/09

Battles Battles are a tight band. They may have mountains of amps, effects pedals, cables and all kinds of assorted equipment but it’s the amazing people behind the machines which make them the band they are. They have a wonderful sound which is quite strange but anchored in very listenable structures. Jon’s drumming really keeps things driving forward. He’s an intense man to see perform, he never holds back and between each song you can see him breath heavily and drip with sweat. While most people mark him out as the core of the band i think the others are just as important, Dave’s guitar work forms such an integral part of their sound and both Tyondi and Ian add much depth to the songs with their keyboard and effects work. Throughout the set you can see the band looking to each other for cues, Tyondi will wait until Ian nods to start an effect or Jon will swing his drumstick back towards Dave on guitar. Some of these may be imagined but there’s undoubtedly a lot of non-verbal communication happening on stage.

At the opera house they went through most of Mirrored and played a few choice tracks from their EP, most notably SZ2, which explodes from meandering sonic exploration into an insanely paced outro that you are unlikely to forget anytime soon. As soon as the seated crowed picked up on the background sound of Atlas’ metronome they went nuts and carried the enthusiasm through the whole song, the set yielded much clapping and tapping of feet for all involved. My legs started to ache with the force i was slamming them on the ground but i never thought of stopping. The encore provided a welcome addition: a new song! And it was fantastic, hard to describe but the drumming was more animated than in many other Battles songs and Tyondi did some pretty interesting things with his voice and by sampling the cymbal noises.

Overall a great set by a tight band who take some fairly simple equipment and make it sound like they have a ban of computers assisting their every move.

Listen to TIJ at Blip.FM > my new fav Battles song!

Listen to Atlas at Blip.FM

Battles2Battles3

Battles Myspace

*Photos from Sydney Festival concert on the 23rd of March 2008

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