Mono + Panthers + Coliseum @ the White Rabbit 9/25/07


Ott 1 2007, 3:38

Tue 25 Sep – High on Fire, Mono, Panthers, Coliseum

Although the headliner for this tour was stoner metal band High on Fire, I really had no interest in them prior to hearing that Mono would be touring with them. Honestly, I wouldn't have minded catching their set, but I was there for Mono.

We got to this show pretty early, so early in fact that we were able to chat with Taka and Yoda for a bit before Coliseum went on. The members of Mono are so sincere that it was almost as if I was talking to some friends I hadn't seen in awhile. My ladyfriend had been wearing their "Are You There?" t-shirt (a shirt which I want very badly now) and they even thanked her for showing her love of the band. Taka mentioned that they would be playing a new song and that they were quite nervous in doing so, but I assured him that they'd have no problem onstage. After shaking hands and wishing them luck, we proceeded to enter the sitting area of the venue. I walked by Yasunori, who was sitting at a table with his Macbook, and over to Tamaki (who always mans the merchandise booth.)

I talked with her for a bit about their newest rarities collection (Gone) before another person walked up and started asking about Mono. He had never heard of them before and was clearly there for High on Fire (or so his shirt told me.) Tamaki was having difficulty describing their sound in a way that wouldn't confound him, so I used the explanation I always use: Mono is classical instrumentation using rock instruments. After buying their DVD and catching back up with my friends, we headed for the stage.

There wasn't a soul around for what seemed like miles (it was really more like feet, there were a few people leaning on the opposite walls.) I realized this would probably be the most intimate environment I would ever witness Mono in.

We stood for what seemed like an hour before Coliseum finally emerged. They weren't a terrible band (despite their unbearably static bassist who moved maybe once during the entire set), but I haven't really ever been much into metal. Their drummer was a fucking beast, though. He broke approximately two drumsticks by the end of the set. They played for about 30 minutes before giving way to Panthers.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from Panthers, but boy did they rock my face off. Each member was just as alive as the next, moving around the stage and dancing their asses off as they stampeded through their set in a way that made Coliseum look like two year-olds. Their guitarist was the center of attention for me; his riff-mongery had me shaking my legs almost clean off my body.

After Panthers' set, it was finally time for Mono to take the stage. I hadn't seen them since May, and after this I wouldn't be able to see them for at least 2 years, so my heart was yearning for this moment.

Appropriately, Taka and Yoda opened the set with the delicate interplay that begins You are There's most brilliant track (perhaps solely comparable to "Moonlight"); "Yearning." I felt my heart fluttering as the layers of the song began to swirl and swell, taking hold of the hearts of everyone there. As Tamaki entered the song, I felt the feeling that comes when your ears are met with overwhelming beauty. This feeling is exactly what defines a Mono show to me. The socialites who couldn't help but converse during the beautiful ambience that opens the song were dead silent as Mono headed towards the climax, and as always I got to see a few people jump at the sudden explosion of sound about halfway through. As Taka bounced uncontrollably in his seat, I couldn't help but bang my head right along with him.

As the noise that ends "Yearning" began to fade out, Tamaki and Yoda somewhat predictably began to play "a Heart Has Asked for the Pleasure." Alongside a few others, I began to sway gently as the song played its course before Mono delved into what was an incredible surprise for me: "the Kidnapper Bell." I had never heard Mono play anything off their first album, and I had in fact heard that it was a rare sight to behold. "The Kidnapper Bell" is probably my most favorite song on their first album, so I was quite captivated. The Mono that recorded "Under the Pipal Tree" was a very different Mono, as Taka himself has stated that it was "a very young record." If anything, the contrast between these songs portrayed how far Mono has really come in maturing their sound.

Contrasting the somewhat dark nature of "the Kidnapper Bell", Yoda next introduced the notes that begin the heartbreaking beauty of "Halcyon (Beautiful Days)", which is now a staple of Mono's live set. If you have not seen this song performed live, you have not witnessed the ceiling of live music.

Finally, to close the set Mono began to play a song I didn't recognize at all. It was probably the highlight of the set to me, I can't really say for sure but I think they really nailed it. Closing their set in menacing washes of noise and distortion, it was time to say goodbye. As the final droning tones finally died down, I felt the need to shake Taka's hand and thank him for such a tremendous display of emotion.

If I had to say goodbye for a couple of years, I couldn't think of a better way to do so.

Mono is:
Takaakira "Taka" Goto
Yasunori Takada

Yearning (15:38)
A Heart Has Asked for the Pleasure (3:43)
The Kidnapper Bell (10:00)
Halcyon (Beautiful Days) (8:09)
New Song (10:00+)


  • underwatermusic

    I miss your show reviews! you should really start writing these again...I can't believe that was in 2007 btw...whoa

    Ago 31 2010, 15:38
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