Live Review: This Will Destroy You and sleepmakeswaves at San Fran, Wellington

This Will Destroy You sleepmakeswaves San Fran Wellington
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This Will Destroy You (Texas, USA)

w/ sleepmakeswaves (Sydney, Australia) and Spook The Horses (Wellington)

San Fran, Wellington

Sunday 7 June 2015

Image: Fergus Cunningham

Image: Fergus Cunningham

Local act Spook The Horse started the night off strong with their searing post-hardcore set. At stages heavy with roaring, and other times calm and contemplative, with plenty of tambourine shaking in between. They ensured that those who arrived early were rewarded for their attendance.

Sydney post-rock quartet sleepmakeswaves were outstanding. This show was towards the end of a long tour (22 countries over a three-month period), but they showed no signs of waning, clearly loving every moment onstage. Most bands who play this kind of music stand there solemnly in the dark as they play, but the lads from SMW were jumping around all over the place having the time of their life. I swear I didn’t see the drummer’s face once, hidden behind his shaggy mop of hair. The music was upbeat and positive, accompanied by quirky electronic samples. It was such a good set that I could have quite happily called it a night then.

Image: Fergus Cunningham

Image: Fergus Cunningham

After sleepmakeswaves’ energetic set, This Will Destroy You didn’t seem nearly as exciting. It was late on a Sunday night and the music was so slow that I could hear my bed calling me. Guitarist Jeremy Galindo was seated for the whole set and even commented that he was ready for bed too. I’m glad I didn’t answer the call though, because I was soon swept up in the music.

TWDY had one of the most intricate set-ups that I’ve seen. Transformers to help compensate for the electrical system differences between NZ and USA. Pedals upon pedals upon pedals. Keyboards and dials and switches, all draped in an assortment of wires. A spaghetti monstrosity of cables laying claim to most of the stage.

And all this equipment was used to create the music. Swells and hums and intricate layers of sound. Spaced drumming with washy cymbals. Sparse keyboard notes on top of haunting white noise. Even though the music was slow and the set lasted almost two hours, it certainly didn’t feel like it. Time didn’t drag its heels, but instead flew past sooner than I realised. And when my eyelids would start to feel heavy the band would launch into an electrifying overdriven segment to wake me up again. TWDY didn’t have the same stage presence of the previous two bands: they let their music do the talking.

Image: Fergus Cunningham

Image: Fergus Cunningham

Not only were we treated to seeing This Will Destroy You, but they also brought another stellar international band with them as support. And sleepmakeswaves actually put on the best performance of the night. It was a relatively small turn out, something that I can only attribute to the fact that it was a Sunday night. And it did go late, until around 12.20am. But once the sleep deprivation wears off, I don’t think anyone in attendance would say they regret having gone.

Joseph James

Thanks to Fergus Cunningham for the photos.

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