††† (CROSSES): a collaboration of Shaun Lopez (Far, Revolution Smile), producer Chuck “Doom” Scott and Chino Moreno (Deftones, Team Sleep). ††† LIVE BAND: Shaun Lopez (Guitar and Programming), Chino Moreno (Vox), Chuck Doom (Bass), Chris Robyn (Drums), Dino Campanella (Drums) and Jono Evens (Guitar and Keys).
On the eve of Saturday, Feb. 4th 2012, ††† completed their first run of four live dates in San Francisco at Slims SF. There was much anticipation on my part due to a roaring response of reviews I had read, stories from fellow concertgoers that attended the previous dates in SoCal and the simple fact of loving the two EP’s they’ve released thus far. Joined on this tour were openers Secret Empire, Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross.
Due to Secret Empire opening at 9pm SHARP, I missed ‘em unfortunately. Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross did a live DJ set that wasn’t much to write home about. Not in the case of musical talent and ability, more in the case of: If you’re a DJ playing in front of a 1,200 capacity audience (or close to), opening for a LIVE BAND, you should have some kind of a “SHOW”…ANYTHING but you on stage with just your laptop.
††† hit the stage at 10:45pm. Three lighted crosses, illuminating various colors, dressed the backdrop. This was very visually appealing due to the fact that Lopez has this “crosses” band symbolism on lockdown and I can certainly respect and appreciate creative symbolism in reference to an artist or group. The stage was set with 2 full drum kits, facing each other, helming Robyn and Campanella. The unique styles of Robyn’s aggressive and fluent attack, while in Far, and Campanella’s eloquent approach, while in Dredg, made for an amazing live addition to what could have potentially showcased their rich abilities. Instead, they played beat for beat what was already present in the electronic tracks. I would’ve loved to hear THREE unique drummers, opposed to ONE. Regardless, they both played with the absolute intensity and conviction they’ve always possessed. The tunes remained tight and concentrated as a result, so I can’t complain much. Lopez was tucked away behind a laptop showcasing mad scientist skills while Scott and Evens held down the remainder of chilling backbone. Moreno’s vocals were silky smooth and totally represented the recorded material to the fullest. His voice is wholeheartedly designed to sing all over this music and it gelled beautifully…
I’m a huge endorser of the LIVE SHOW. By that I mean, if you don’t put on a circus full of intensity and personal conviction for your audience, you borderline fail as a live act and you should refrain from taking their hard earned concert ticket money. The live show is the bridge of complete connection between artist, song and audience. In light of this, I’ve also accepted the fact that audiences of certain genres just flat out don’t expect much from their artists, except their presence. I will always expect the world. The show was subdued in performance and lighting, some may argue and I’m fine with that. I grew up watching bands burn the stage down and that art is a bit lost. I don’t foresee ever getting used to kats focusing their performance behind their tools and not engaging the crowd with a personal connection they so richly deserve. Though, there was a vibe bein’ put forth and I have the utmost respect for that. ††† music is electronic based, colorful, abstract and was executed very well in this live setting with a SOLID core of talent. I’m an honest fan of what’s been showcased thus far. This is a real band and should not be tragically mistaken for a side project.
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Categories: Concert Reviews