In the Crowd: Hella
Vancouver, BC @ Red Room
Arriving late, we missed Zach Hill's other other other side project. All reports deemed it amazing and one guy standing outside noted he was still trying to take the whole thing in; this 15 minutes after they had stopped playing. Soon after, The Advantage took the stage. One thing about this band is that any time they play, its 100% sure bet that you will hear at least 2 or 3 people in the bathroom noting that they had just heard about this band a few hours ago. It seems that those who know The Advantage only tell their friends about the band the day of the shows.
As for their performance, the band seemed tired as compared to previous shows. Spencer Siem was the most impressive of the four, pounding the drums in all his hunchbacked glory, making odd faces, and barely missing a beat. The remainder of the band were going through the motions, providing as much excitement about being there as a 10 year old playing the first few levels of Mario 3 before one get the warp. They played all the requested classics (Super Mario, Castlevania, Bubble Bobble), but somehow they lacked the flourish that makes them so exciting.
Hella was as Hella does. They were tighter than ever, spot on with all the notes, and their organized chaos had virtually everyone stunned, fans and friends of fans alike. Watching Hella brings back memories of those videos where skiers get swept into avalanches and for 10 seconds, all one sees is snow and dust and a slab of ice moving at impossible speeds. Then, out of nowhere, the skier emerges from the snow pack, seemingly untouched and in perfect shape, only to gracefully carve perfect turns until the run ends. This is as close to Hella as I can describe, perhaps to lack of words that somehow encompass their sound; or better yet, perhaps because Hella's music goes beyond the dictionary.
- Darren Susin | 2006-07-05
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