Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dead Letter Circus @ Hi Fi Bar and Ballroom (24/08/2011)

In the past 12 months I have seen Dead Letter Circus five times, and I think this will be the last for quite a while. I don’t mean to sound too negative but this is probably the performance I enjoyed the least out of the eight times I’ve seen them play. They’re a great band and all but I think they could put a bit more of an effort into ensuring that fans who see them multiple times aren’t subjected to damn near identical performances each time. That and the fact that I don’t really like the Hi Fi Bar as a venue and the support bands were average, meant that this particular DLC gig wasn’t anything to write home about.
The supports were Wolves and Closure in Moscow. You know what’s worse than having a support band that you expect to be bad and they are? You guessed it – having a support band that you expect to be good, but they’re not. Wolves started out pretty bland but their last few songs were marginally more interesting. Also, they were a classic case of “band that has a slightly unusual instrument (in this case a violin) but has it way too low in the mix to actually make a real difference”. I guess this might not have been the band’s fault. And it improved toward the end of the set. I’m willing to give these guys another crack as they showed some promise. Closure in Moscow really threw me – I’d heard comparisons to The Mars Volta thrown around and I was looking forward to what they’d do. They seemed pretty cool – until the singer opened his mouth. The rest of the band is actually very talented and interesting to watch, but I found myself wishing I could just listen to instrumental versions of their songs, not have some half-whiny emo vocals over the top of it. And what the fuck was he wearing?! I’m glad I didn’t record these guys. So Wolves and Closure in Moscow failed to score points, which was really disappointing as I’ve usually seen some really good bands support DLC – Sydonia, Rook, Black Devil Yard Boss, [Me] and Floating Me, namely. And just to rub it in, the rest of the tour has Jericco on the bill.
Anyway, so DLC came on and did their thing and that was pretty enjoyable, except, like I said, not much setlist variation. Moving around one or two songs does not constitute rotation. And they’ve even dropped The Drum this time around, which is a little disappointing. Oh, right, they played Tremors for the first time in ages. That was actually quite enjoyable, although it seemed like way too many in the crowd didn’t know what it was, which always annoys me at gigs. Towards the end of the set, it looked like they weren’t going to play Alien like they had on most other shows on this tour. That’s cool, I thought. I’ve seen it before, and they’ll probably do something else cool that they didn’t do elsewhere. Oh, an unplanned drum solo! NICE! ...Until I got home and looked at the setlist from the Geelong show. Alien AND a drum solo! Yeah. We actually got one less song (or piece I guess... a drum solo’s not really a song) than Geelong. Great. Also listening back to the recording, perhaps it wasn’t as spontaneous as I thought. Kim says “Did someone say drum solo?” but all I can hear is requests for Alien... hmm. It was quite a good drum solo though! The rest of the set was pretty standard stuff; This is the Warning as a closer is getting a little over-done. Someone from Closure in Moscow did the floor tom, but on the fifth tour since the album, that’s really lost its impact. I think they need to do something a bit more creative with it, instead of just sticking to the EXACT same rhythm that’s on the CD. What’s the point in that? Anyway. I know it sounds like I didn’t enjoy this gig at all, but I genuinely did. It was just the same-old same-old and I won’t be going to see them again until their tour announcement declares that they’ll play new material. Nevertheless, it’s a reasonable recording of a band I’ve always wanted to have a performance of.
(The Mile intro thing)
The Mile
This Long Hour
Disconnect and Apply
The Space on the Wall
One Step
Drum Solo
Next in Line

Here We Divide
This is the Warning (
with Mansur Zennelli of Closure in Moscow)



  1. My exact thoughts on them not switching setlists. When I first got into them (late 2007) I saw them 4 times and 3 of 4 the setlist was identical. Same order and everything. The 4th time was the same songs but two swapped places.
    It really does take a lot away from my enjoyment of the show when a band is going through the motions like that and for a band like DLC who play so many local shows they should switch it up so that the die hard fans who see them every tour don't get bored.

  2. Hmm, well at that point they only had one EP released... and a 3-song single came out in 2009. But yeah, now they've got an album they have the songs to mix it up a little bit. And there's still one song they haven't even played yet. I still think they're a very good live band though. Reading back on this it sounds so negative haha.

  3. Hey, intro thing before 'The Mile' is Machine Gun by Portishead

  4. Nah, I removed Machine Gun, I know they always play it right before they come on. Track 1 on the recording is the little intro jam they usually do before The Mile at a gig, and track 2 is The Mile starting where it does on the recorded version. I thought it'd be better as two tracks, just my personal preference.