9 March 2007
Do Make Say Think
333 11th Street (btwn Folsom & Harrison) [Map]
Drinks Consumed: 3+ beers each plus whiskey.
Review at the Owl Mag
The all-ages policy at Slim's strikes again, this time in the form of teenagers on ecstasy. We took our usual spot in front of the stage (stage left) and realized high school kids surrounded us. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of them pop a blue pill into his mouth and wash it down with a gulp from his water bottle. They all had water bottles. Yes, everybody needs to drink water. But when the back rubs began four songs into the band's set, well... it was time to get away from the post-rock rave and flee to the bar.
The thing about post-rock is that most people can't really dance to this kind of music, with the exception of the ecstasy kids, who were a couple songs away from feeling some cosmic vibes. If you aren't into the closed-eye head sway, you just sort of stand around and appreciate the sound. And in the case of Do Make Say Think, that sound is beautiful. If I counted correctly, two drummers, a trumpeter/flugelhorn player, a saxophonist who doubles as a guitarist, a fiddle player, a bassist, and two guitar players crowded the stage. While they look, to use the words my companion, "like a mess of a band," talent outweighs fashion sense (or lack thereof). Do Make Say Think's ragamuffin members are very good at what they do. They experiment with dynamics, time signatures, and tempos all the while producing rich instrumental melodies riddled with explosive percussion. Apparently they have been known to do some crazy things onstage but this set was pretty straightforward. No stage diving, as strictly forbidden by the sign at the venue. I wish that I had taken advantage of the days when they played smaller venues because some of their sound's fullness is lost in the cavern that is Slim's.
Another thing about post-rock: matching song titles to tunes sucks unless you are a rabid fan of the band. While I own every album this band has ever put out, I failed in noting which tracks came when. I do know that they pulled out a bunch of the old tracks from Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn and & Yet & Yet, one of which was most certainly "Fredericia." I recognized others, to the point where it excited me to hear how close to studio quality the band plays them live, but I can't offer a proper set list. I'm sorry.
The lowest moment in the show came when they tried out a new song, a song that has lyrics. It was not good and this is a direction Do Make Say Think should avoid at all costs. Please, no lyrics. Ever.