Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Lottery Tickets, New Altum, Gravity Wins Again and Yes Sir! Mister Machine

Hidden Cellar 31 May 2008: The event was set to turn Stellenbosch and all its rockers on their heads, and this was no false promise. The Hidden Cellar hosted four bands in one evening: The Lottery Tickets; Gravity Wins Again; New Altum and Yes Sir! Mister Machine, working together to craft a night of mind-blowing rock I will struggle to forget. The Lottery Tickets, in their curious, casual approach to performing, burst onto the stage not only singing “YMCA”, but sporting outfits that would have made The Village People positively swell with pride, I’m sure. With lead vocalist Robert Volker keeping things amusing with his peculiar “radio voice”, The Lottery Tickets did a fine job of performing their chilled music with just the right amount of oomph, making the crowd feel comfortable in the setting as well as easing them into what would evolve into far more hardcore music. Gravity Wins Again did not blow me away. The performance was average enough for me to take a break from jamming like a lunatic in stilettos, and so I watched from a chair in the back. Look, it didn’t make my ears bleed or anything, but the band certainly didn’t blow my hair back either. With a passable musical formula, their sound is uncomplicated, making it fairly accessible to any plebeian who knows precious little about good music. You have to give them credit for rendering the crowd fairly appreciative. I remain sceptical as to what this says about the crowd. New Altum had the party rocking out once again, with a more hardcore sound. Despite my salivating in fervent anticipation for Yes Sir! Mister Machine to take the stage, I did enjoy New Altum. Enough, even, to torture my feet a little longer in those ridiculous shoes. Their music has an interesting experimental nature that keeps it slightly apart from your usual screamo stuff, while they create a feel of never trying too hard to say something. Rather, they say whatever and hope the crowd walks away having experienced something more than another band. Well, that’s what I felt. I could be horrible wrong... Finally, finally... Yes Sir! Mister Machine stepped onto the stage. I must inform that I replaced my stilettos with flats for this one which, trust me, is quite a big thing for even the least girly-girl out there! That should give an indication of how eager I was. But nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. Yes Sir! Mister Machine is a band everyone should experience live. Their sound is hardcore with an experimental line strung throughout, mixed with strokes of hardcore dance music. The music is even better live than on disc which, trust me, says a lot! But what had me speechless, besides for having screamed my lungs out, was the sheer energy on stage. So some of their moves may be a tiny bit generic, but can you call it generic of they do it even better than the originals? The involvement with their crowd was overwhelming and I felt like a kid in a candy store, utterly confused as to where to look or what my favourite part was. The performance called for a moment of silence afterwards, not only to catch my breath but to take in what I had just witnessed. The bands jointly created a perfect build-up to end the evening at a zenith other shows will struggle to crown.

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