Photos by G.
Who doesn’t love an evening out where a concert is sandwiched in between seeing John Waters read from his new book and a late night club performance by diva Martha Wash? A night such as that was on April 27, 2011 when I saw experimental US rock band Battles perform at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge. Most songs were rockin’ instrumentals and the songs that did have vocals were not sung live, but instead delivered via video on screens behind the trio.
The night began with a DJ set by Tanlines. While the music was electronic and groovy, a DJ set to me consists of mixing songs together. If you are just going to play a selection of your favorite tracks, leave an Ipod on the stage and save everyone a bunch of time. It was quite frustrating as the doors opened at 8 and Battles didn’t even hit the stage until 10:30, so there was 2 and a half long hours of waiting around (and Tanlines did not DJ from the stage, so there was nothing to look at. As usual at DJ sets, no one dances because everyone wants to preserve their spot for the main act). I also have to point out that I stood in the front row (not a shock) and I was in front of a photographer who was shooting photos for a website that I really love. Unfortunately, I had to listen to him talk shit about other photographers for the duration of the Tanlines DJ set and when Battles finally came on, this photographer was so unconscious of anyone else in the venue, he must have bumped me with his camera about 20 times before I shot him a look that said “touch me once more and I’m going to shove that camera up your hipster ass!” And as a side note to that photographer (and all photographers who go to these shows), I appreciate that you spent thousands of dollars on a camera, but no matter how many shots you get, you are not photographing the Beatles reunion – so please get over yourselves and PAY ATTENTION to how big your gear is so you stay in your allotted space and not get in other peoples’ way!
The highlight of the show for me was watching drummer John Stanier. He played the shit out of the drums including a cymbal that was on a 6 foot pole next to the kit. While keeping the beat, you could see sweat pouring off him as if someone had dumped a bucket of water over his head. It was really cool watching energy in motion.
See the Battles set list after the jump.