Even though I'm not sure anyone even looks at this folder these days, I'll put up most of an email I wrote to a friend about last nights show...
This was scaled down, barebones Residents, just three performers on stage; the main man, the other "main" guy who's always been a part of things on keyboards/samples, and the same very good guitar player who's been with them for quite a while. No annoying woman this time!
A set like a living room, the keyboardist sitting on one side, the guitar player sitting on the other and the main man center stage. the show was just songs, but all dark, dark, dark songs.
There was some minimal lighting effects, and the music was lush and creative and very full. Parts were dull, parts were brilliant, but ultimately I walked out very disappointed because while the overall sound was great and loud, I could barely hear the singer most of the night, even though this show was ALL about him.
Without extra performers or a big production and theatrics he stalked around the stage doing what he does best; singing nightmarish songs about fear, loathing and the dark underbelly of humanity in his classic heavy, weeeiiiirrrrd way, and he used a regular mike all night but the vocals were WAY too low in the mix, at times completely washed out by the guitar and everything else. Drove me to distraction.
If his vocals had been pushed powerfully through the PA it would have been a simple but elemental, epic Residents show, but every single sound in the mix, keyboards, guitar, drums, percussion and even the hi-hat samples were all way louder than the vocals.
There were songs I didn't know, and a few I did. They played Simolina, Hello Skinny, Animal Lover, the song that annoying woman would sing about worrying who would take care of her flowers if she murders herself.
Highlights were that song, Talking Light, and a couple I have no idea about, but the song of the night, and one of the best Residents moments I've ever seen even at this disappointing show was a song that is maybe called Six More Miles To The Graveyard. Do you know it? What a great, sloooow, HEAVY, dark, intense, slightly blusy vision of bleak, horrific sadness, played great by the group and sung brilliantly by our main man.
It was chilling, dark, powerful and so real; that song was the Residents at their serious dark-hearted best, and a moment that had me once again thinking that this guy is a true star that no one has ever known about.
There were a couple of dull song/stories with video that went too long, but most all of the music was their best heavy stuff. No Residents silliness or foolery this time, just the dark meat and what I think they do best best, with the main guy featured all night, singing, screaming, howling, simpering and stalking the stage.
It went an hour and a half including an encore, and in the end it was an excellent show, but with almost none of the usual Residents "effects" or performance deals. It was very musical and all songs, heavy keys & guitar, with allot sampled with effects and extemely well played by the two mucisians. If I could have heard the singer better it would have been an absolutely awesome show, but it still overcame that a few times and had it's high moments.
The volume issue could be because it was the first show of the tour, but everything else sounded GREAT, so I don't know that will get better. I'd be interested in seeing it again later in the tour to see if they rework the sound, and if I get the chance I'll go to see about that, and also to hear that graveyard song again. It was intense.
Thanks for the review. They are in Austin next week and I was curious about this tour. I'm still on the fence about attending. The show is at an outdoor venue and weather this time of year is a hit or miss proposition.
Always loved The Residents! Thanks for posting the review.
Good review Lance,saw them in 1984 at Kabuki Theater in San Francisco,eddieboy!
hoping to see them here in Atlanta a couple days before Furthur.
Six More Miles to the Graveyard is by Hank Williams.
also covered by Camper Van Beethoven.
Thanks for the review, Residents Rule!
Nice review, thanks! I'm in the midst of planning a trip to Nijmegen, Netherlands (I live in Italy) to see what's being billed as a "public rehearsal" in advance of the fall euro tour. Still called Talking Light, I'm wondering if we'll get a different set list than the Spring. I found a show from the Spring tour on Dime a Dozen dot org, so if you bittorrent you might enjoy the trip down memory lane. Incidentally, the guitarist is Nolan Cook, frequently credited as a special guest, but then performing under an eyeball or other mask. The mystery continues...