Friday, March 11, 2011

Marnie Stern and Tera Melos Finger Tap Their Way Through The Middle East

On March 6, I had the privilege to see one of my favorite modern guitarists when the lovely and talented Marnie Stern played The Middle East Upstairs alongside Boston up-and-comers Drummers and insane technical wizards Tera Melos. It was to be a night of mind-blowing guitar wielding and complex musical arrangements. This was not one to see if you were looking for a typical show or accessible music. Most of what was presented that night would probably make the casual listener uneasy but it sounded ideal to my ears.

Drummers opened up the night with their minimal post-hardcore sound akin to Native or Young Widows. There was a bit of noise rock influence mixed in with some disjointed beats that held up the frontman/bassist’s barking vocals which were typical of this type of post-hardcore style. This was my first exposure to the three-piece and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Give their self-titled debut a spin below.

Next up was Marnie Stern, who stole the show for me. It was simply mesmerizing to watch her manhandle the guitar. She finger-tapped her way through favorites like “Transformer” and “Transparency is the New Mystery” all the while providing complex vocal melodies. The rhythm section was incredibly tight for such intricate music with the touring drummer adequately filling in for drumming virtuoso Zach Hill who plays on the albums. It was especially impressive when they dropped the beat during “Prime” which was booming. In between songs were Marnie’s interesting musings which included topics that she deemed inappropriate, confessing that she doesn’t know why she feels the need to bring up such things on stage. It was like getting a free comedy show with the performance. Her personality certainly shines on stage. You can check out pictures from the tour stop on Marnie Stern’s blog here and some more Marnie Stern goodness below.

Marnie Stern – "Transparency is the New Mystery"




"Fingertapping with Marnie Stern"

Tera Melos closed the bill and made the night’s preceding music sound like top 40 hits. The complexity of Tera Melos’ songwriting is simply mindboggling. The most inconceivable part about their performance, however, is that they don’t miss a note. The vocals sounded surprisingly good amongst all of the chaos and the guitarists got some of the craziest tones I have ever heard out of their instruments. They mostly played songs from their 2010 full-length, Patagonia Rats, and their recently released EP, Zoo Weather. The group closed with an encore featuring an instrumental that hurt my brain when I thought about how the band could possibly remember all 800 parts to the song. Below are videos from the night and streams of Zoo Weather as well as Patagonia Rats.


"The Skin Surf"

"40 Rod’s to the Hog’s Head"

1 comment:

  1. Tera Melos are amazing, aren't they? I first heard them opening for The Fall of Troy, and when I walked into the venue I could've sworn I had walked into a lasery starfighter battle straight out of Starwars. I was slackjawed the whole performance.