AU ABROAD

Black Mountain + The Night Terrors - Annandale Hotel (20.02.11)

I arrived just in time to catch Melbourne's The Night Terrors unleash a world of theremin onto an unsuspecting crowd. It was a fascinating display of musicianship, for one, though I didn't see nearly enough of the set to judge further. If nothing else, it made me quite interested to see them perform in the future... they seem like yet another unique live experience from the Melbourne music scene.

If rock and roll was dead, no one told Canadian five piece Black Mountain, our headliners of the night. And rarely is there a better place to exploit such a fact than at Sydney's famous Annandale Hotel, where tonight they were playing a second and final show. Even by Annandale standards, this was one LOUD psychedelic rock experience; the sort of experience where a band is saying, nay, proclaiming: ‘let’s show them all how it’s done’.

They opened things up with "Wilderness Heart" off their latest LP of the same name, before running through a some two hour set which featured plenty of their older, more jam based material - though on the whole it placed heavy focus on their newest album. Some die hards may have been disappointed to have heard less off of their Self-Titled debut and In The Future than they would have liked, but I for one (a fan of all three albums) enjoyed the set from start to finish.

Tracks included “The Hair Song”, “Tyrants”, “Radiant Heart” (featuring beautiful, almost ballad-esque moments), “Set Us Free” (with some incredible guitar work), “Queens Will Play” (with one of the best live beats I’ve ever heard, not to mention the stellar vocal moments), “Don't Run Our Hearts Around” and “Roller Coaster”. The older material was certainly the most impressive – with huge build ups and the sorts of deliveries that Godspeed! You Black Emperor have never quite been able to achieve. The main set ended with the return of The Night Terrors and their Theremin for “Let Spirits Ride”, which caused me to write in my notes: THIS IS LOUD. I guess it was loud.

“Love The Night” and “Bright Lights” closed out the encore, with some more Theremin, and a jam that became a bit more of a chant than an instrumental experience. Indeed, there was almost something tribal about the whole hypnotic experience. This was a band who had taken us around their campfire, and with the powers of rock and roll, set that fire to explode in our faces, leaving us to enjoy an audio spectacle without the weight of the world keeping us down. Black Mountain are an amazing live band; they’re an experience not to be missed.