Moderat, Definite Road Warriors – Vogue Theatre
written by Mike Zimmer
I love love love production. I don’t care who you are but if you put half as much effort into your live show as you do your music, it’s going to be very hard for an audience not to be entertained. I know there are many traditionalists out there who say ‘we just want the music to speak for itself.’ Ya? Well if that’s the case, why bother playing live? There has to be something that makes people want to take off their headphones, leave their home, and pay redundant service fees, to come see you.
Case in point, Moderat. If you take one element away from the show they put on, I can guarantee the audience would not have been buzzing like they were upon leaving the Vogue Theatre Monday night. A three piece consisting of a singer who was flanked by two others …playing…manipulating? I don’t know what they were doing…tweaking nobs? Whatever wizardry they were doing I was more focused on the lights and visuals created by a rear-projected screen in the middle of the stage.
A note to people who love going near the front of the stage, you know, to get closer to their heroes. A band like Moderat, you need to stand back a bit and take in the spectacle. If you were in the first handfull of rows I’m sure you missed the laser light show going on above your head. Creating what looked like the laser alarm rooms you see in many action movies.
As tight as everything sounded and looked, the show was not without its flaws. It appeared that the projector providing the visuals to the screen had a short in it. Periodically it would lose signal, break up and give you the ‘blue screen of death’. At first it looked intentional but the randomness through out the show proved otherwise. (Cue the voice of Don Cherry) ‘Now let me tell you kids out there in bands coming up. Let me tell you when you’re up there performing, and something is not going right, you gotta just keep going. You can’t let on that anything is wrong. The moment you show frustration or any lack of confidence, your gonna lose your audience. You’re basically telling them that things are not well and we are not having fun out there. It makes you look bad, and it makes the concert goers feel bad that you didn’t give it 110%, no mater what,’ (now you can go back to whatever your normal reading voice is).
You can tell these Moderat guys are road warriors because not once did a member acknowledge that anything was wrong. Not in their body language, not in their facial expressions, nothing, and it was hard not to ignore the blue screen since it ended up being the brightest moments of their light show (minus the house lights revealing the crowd). Some people I talked to after the show had no idea that anything was wrong and thought it was just part of the show. (Don Cherry) ‘that’s how you do it boys and girls.’
All in all the beautiful imagery along side the atmosphere of the Moderat sound made for an experience that was very easy to enjoy.
Side thought to my rant about just play though your on stage issues. I guess if your mic craps out that sucks and everyone will know. So my rant isn’t bullet proof. ‘Keep your stick on the ice’
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written by Mike Zimmer, photos by Mike Zimmer