Tone show review – Black Cat

If you live anywhere near DC and haven’t been to a Tone show… well, there is no excuse.  They are the awesome and ever evolving guitar rock ensemble that may have started the shoegaze genre.  I caught their first show ever at the old 9:30 club due to my friend Geordie being in the band.  They had the wall-of-guitars droning sound of their namesake going even then, but it was nothing compared to the sonic complexity and pounding rhythms of the current Tone.  Tonight’s set was amazing with lots of new material and rearranged older songs.  Go see their next show at Comet Ping Pong on Feb 21.  That’s an order!

As is true with all shows, you should see the opening acts.  I can’t say how many times the opening band has blown my mind or how many have just blown.  Either way it is worth the effort.  What’s the worst that can happen – they suck and you are forced to have a beer in the back room?  Still worth it.

Tonight’s openers were Cryptodira from Long Island and Technicians from DC.  Cryptodira: sorry guys, but your attempt to meld Math Rock with Metal was not a success.  Pick a genre, because those two do not mix.  Technicians: Not bad.  Math Rock again, a bit on the heavy side.  This may have been on purpose because of the other bands on the bill tonight.  The lighter songs on their web site sounded better to me, but may not have been as well received tonight..

The headliner tonight was Wings Denied.  I stayed for a few of their songs, but was not impressed.  They claim to be prog rockers, but just sounded like a metal band to me.  Lead singer kept swinging on an overhead pipe that looked like it might be a gas pipe.  I’m all for stagecraft and such, but they weren’t good enough to risk exploding for.

Weirdness on the bass guitars tonight.  Wings Denied had a five string bass (unusual).  Cryptodira had a six string bass (never seen that before).  The Technicians’ bass guitar had LED lights shining out of the frets – what’s up with that?  Of course the best bass player was Tone’s: no gimmicks required.

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