Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Short Review - Magma at the Highline Ballroom, Sept 20, 2010

I originally was not going to go to this show, as I had already seen this set-list 4 times in 2009. However, I convinced my old friend Nick from Dr. Nerve to go, so I was glad that I had some company, I also met old friend Zeeker and new friend Keith there.

The set-list was the same one that they have been doing for the past two years.

1) Slag Tanz - this was a revised version from the original version that I saw them perform at Le Casino in early 2009. It seems to be moving in a more Offering-like direction, which is consistent with Vander's compositional direction nowadays.

2) Felicite Thosz - well, what can I say that I haven't said already? I used the song as an opportunity to eat my dinner.

3) E-R - well done. Grandcamp's guitar added another dimension. He was more forward in the mix than MacGaw usually is. During Grand zombies, you could really hear Grandcamp's guitar swells, and it definitely enhanced the atmosphere of Zombies. Vander pulled out one or two new drum licks. E-R was extremely well received by the audience.

4) Kobiaia - very noisy, very rambunctious, very much fun. Vander looked like he was having a great time.

From my vantage point in the balcony, the sound was very muddy, and the vocals were a bit under the mix. This could be just related to my gradual loss of the upper ends of the sound spectrum, so I will give Francis a break on this one :-)


  1. Marc,

    Good to see you & Nick at The Highline. I went downstairs for much of E-R. The sound was clearer, richer & louder than in the balcony. Quite a different perspective. Since the Highline Ballroom is not very deep, standing at the back gave me the "in your face" Magma experience I wanted. Up in the balcony the sound was a bit muted though I thoroughly enjoyed Slag Tanz. On the other hand, I joked that Felicte Thosz sounded like an "Oktoberfest gone wrong" to my ears.

    After the show Phillipe Bussonet invited Keith, Morgan & myself up to the dressing rooms. It was thrilling to be remembered by Christian. If all goes according to plan, he has agreed to do a master class at The Collective next time in NYC.


    I drove down to DC for UZ. Their performance was remarkable!!! in a very small auditorium with superb sound. I was in the 2nd row with no one in front of me. Almost too good to be true.

  2. Hey Marc,

    It's intriguing to me that you think Slag Tanz is moving in an "Offering-like direction"--as I think you have a low opinion of Offering.

    Just to offer a counter point of view, I think this piece has developed from a monotonous and frankly boring repetitious clanging of power chords into a complex work with dimension, richness and counterpoint. I like it now very much.

    Then again, I'm a HUGE fan of Felicite, and think it is the best composition Vander has made since the 70s.