This Monday I shot a free show at Zaphods featuring Raised by Swans with openers Mouth and Pink Moth. The free concert series at Zaphods can be a mixed bag, sometimes great and sometimes not so much. The lineup this time was a bit of an odd mix. Mouth started off the show; two guys and a girl on drums who have just moved to Ottawa. Great energy and a great stage presence, definitely a band to keep your eye on. There’s nothing better as a photographer than shooting a band that really works the stage and moves around and these guys didn’t disappoint.
Next up was Pink Moth, a solo artist that mixed live guitar and haunting vocals with an iPod for a backup band. Easy on the ears, he laid down some hypnotic tracks that had a resonant musical quality. A great act, but to be honest I’d much rather listen to this type of music at home with a cup of tea and a book… it doesn’t make for the most entertaining live show.
The headliners, Raised by Swans, were recommended to me by a friend and were the reason I came to the show in the first place. They’ve been described as “The Canadian equivalent of Sigur Ros, Mercury Rev, or Radiohead – luscious, ambient, and dream-like” and that’s about the best description I’d be able to give. Great sound, great depth, but again… not the most interesting band to watch live. I know I’m biased being a photographer, but I go see live shows for the show that’s put on. If a band’s going to come and play in jeans and t-shirts, standing still for the whole set, to be quite honest I’d rather save the price of admission and buy their CD to listen to at home instead. This type of act usually sounds better on a CD anyways.
I’m not saying Pink Moth and Raised by Swans didn’t play great music, but I just wouldn’t pay to see their live act. In this respect Mouth won hands down for the night. They jumped, they screamed, they fought… they rocked, plain and simple. Without a doubt, buy a copy of Pink Moth and Raised by Swans’ album, you won’t be disappointed, but do yourself a favour and go see Mouth the next chance you get.
You can see more shots of Raised by Swans, Pink Moth and Mouth on my Flickr.