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dubok/flesh field/a23 - columbus (apr. 2002)
posted on 16-May-2002 by anton
initially I was not sure what kind of turn out to expect from this show, I have not seen much advertising for it, but as it turned out, sheer word of mouth and popularity of the bands brought in a few hundred people - enough to fill up the venue. it seemed that a lot came from out of town, which is not surprising, considering the usual "a prophet has no honor in his own land" statement.

it was one of those shows, when you know the bands and the music (well, not the new material, obviously), so it was much more of a social event, with whiskey gradually transforming me from a distant wannabe analytical crowd observer to the state when I just enjoyed the music and atmosphere without any attempt to document/observe/discern.

the evening started out with dubok, and they looked simply great on stage - the distant composure and reserved, cold appearance really works out quite well for them. it was interesting to hear their sound evolving more and more into this very appealing direction, where very cool broken, almost idm-like rhythms are mixed with melodic soaring strings into fluid danceable sound; more and more (as I expand my music horizons) I find them to exist in a genre of their own, I constantly search (and find) references in many other genres, but no one does it quite as well as these guys. with the upcoming release of their new full-length "technicolor" it would be nice to see other "scenes" getting exposed to their material, I am sure that with proper marketing it would have no problems gaining the popularity it deserves.

as a result of my endless fascination with mostly vocal-less music genres, I very often try to bypass ian's vocals to get to the tasty electronica underneath it, but during the show he was incredibly effective as the front man of the band, drawing attention of the crowd.

flesh field was next, joined by scott tron as their usual fearless live companion. flesh field is gradually moving to increasingly complex sound arrangements, almost symphonic compositions, still retaining their familiar danceable drive and aggression. their live show is something not to miss with all the energy and effectiveness of age-old seductive contrast between violence and beauty. this performance was particularly special, for both ian & rian as well as the audience that got to witness it.

it has been a while since I have seen these guys live, and I was relieved to confirm that they only have gotten better, and I still enjoyed their live set as much as before. there was a surprising appearance of two guitars on stage towards the end of their set, that did work out quite nicely, subtly enhancing the sound (not to mention instantly increased über-macho stage appeal).

finally, a23 appeared on stage, and somehow, I did not feel any of the excitement or energy I felt during his set a year before. maybe it was the sound, maybe it was the contrast of new material from both dubok and flesh field, that made tom sound too predictable and simple; whatever it was, I still listened to his set, but it did not impress me nearly as much as preceding two acts.

I was glad to see both flesh field and dubok getting this many people in their hometown, finally they get some local recognition for their efforts. those of you that missed the concert should keep an eye on upcoming live appearances by both bands.

picture gallery
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flesh field
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photographs © 2002 by alan mcclelland

related links
dubok "clear vision" review
flesh field "belief control" review
assemblage23 "failure" review
assemblage23 website
flesh field website
dubok website

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