Saturday, September 15, 2012

Big Black Delta @ The Great Saltair, SLC 8/28/2012 - LIVE REVIEW



I have to admit that I was originally skeptical about what to expect with this concert. I am a fan of Jonathan Bates’ other band, Mellowdrone, but have always been turned off by electronic based music in general based purely on my own personal tastes. When I finally did listen to the Big Black Delta album, I was really impressed with the emotional impact it created without the driving force of guitar, bass, and drums defining the sound. My skepticism was pushed aside as I listened to what could be accomplished by a skilled singer-songwriter with a computer.

So yes, I am a fan of the album, but was still unsure of what to expect with a live show. Bates had stated in an interview here with Fake Plastic Tunes that, “It’s just me, two amazing drummers, lights and an Ableton rig that I can manipulate my songs and voice real time. It’s like I’m producing in front of everyone, whilst jiggling around.” This intrigued me and I anxiously looked forward to seeing the actual “jiggling” around. 

Tuesday night, on August 28th at The Great Saltair, the crowd was witness to an experience that blew me and everyone else away.

I was thoroughly impressed with what two drummers and a jiggler could accomplish on a stage.
When the main lights went out and the glow of the lights mentioned by Bates lit up, the two drummers beat their sets in a perfect synchronicity that wonderfully complemented Bates’ singing and moving across the stage. These two drummers sat at each end of the stage and drove the beat of the show while Jonathan showed us all where the music could go.

Jonathan placed himself front and center as he danced, sang, and moved around. He guided the audience through an electronic journey they might not have expected. I assume that most of the crowd was there for Jane’s Addiction and were pleasantly surprised by the energetic offering that complimented the excited vibe. 

The crowd was genuinely into the music. Most of the people around me may not have listened to Big Black Delta before that evening, but I have no doubt that many of them went home after the show and looked them up. After witnessing the crowd reaction, I strongly believe that most left as Big Black Delta fans.

The setlist was as solid as I could have imagined for the show with Gun On the Floor setting the mood right off with its intense lyrics and entrancing beat. Huggin and Kissin was also another welcome listen as it was followed by Capsize, which left me satisfied for the entire evening after only three songs. 

The ultimate crescendo of the evening (and I mean of the entire evening encompassing both bands) was the final song of the set, IFUCKINGLOVEYOU, which was so mind blowingly fucking awesome that I wished that the show could have gone on for another set of nine songs. Jonathan Bates screamed into that microphone with words and emotion that evoked audio-orgasms from everyone in attendance.

I love those moments in a show where you get a sense that the musicians truly love the music and the experience of performing it live. I strongly believe that everyone in that crowd was mesmerized by the passion exhibited that night. I also believe that while Jane’s Addiction put on an amazing show, it didn’t have that special something that Big Black Delta shared with us.

I really liked Jane’s Addiction’s performance that evening, but I thoroughly loved Big Black Delta and can’t wait to see them again. 

--Mark.HaTe




1 comment:

  1. Cool. I loved Mellowdrone as well. And as it turned out I couldn't get to the show in time to see BBD here in Boise. Gonna track down some music.

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