We opened the set with some Dredg. Dredg is a great band from San Francisco (I’m not sure why I make that reference whenever I talk about them), with a highly developed artistic sense and a great stage presence. My daughter and I saw them in St. Louis a few years back, and they put on a great show. We heard Not That Simple (from 2005’s Catch Without Arms), Pariah , Drunk Slide, and Ireland (all from 2009’s The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion), and The Canyon is Behind Her (from 2004’s El Cielo).
The Smiths were probably one of the more important bands of the ’80s, even if a lot of Americans had no idea who they were until after they broke up. I first caught wind of them while I was in Germany (right after they broke up, unfortunately), and they were probably a major part of my growing appreciation for what then might have been called “indie” music. We heard What Difference Does It Make?, Shoplifters of the World Unite, How Soon is Now, Handsome Devil, and Sheila Take a Bow.
It is hard to resist some Metallica, especially some old school Metallica. We heard Master of Puppets, The Shortest Straw, and Harvester of Sorrow.
George Frideric Handel wrote his Keyboard Suite in B Flat Major, HWV 434, sometime between 1710 and 1717, possibly after Handel moved to England in 1712 (at leas that would be my expectation), but it was not published until 1733. It would appear that he had a liking for the composition, as certain portions of it were recycled for his Water Music Suites and for his Flute Suite in E Minor, HWV 375. It also speaks well of the piece that Johannes Brahms used a theme from the piece as the basis for his Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24. Tonight’s recording is a 1996 recording by the fine Dutch harpsichordist Bob van Asperen.
Orchestral Manouvres in the Dark has an important place in ’80s music history, even if (again) Americans weren’t quite as aware of them as the Brits and continental Europeans were. Tonight we heard some material that they did live in the studio for the John Peel Show on the BBC (one of numerous important bands, English and American, who did so), as released on their Peel Sessions: 1979-1983 released: : Bunker Soldiers, Julia’s Song, Messages, and Red Frame/White Light. All of these songs can be found on their first self-titled album, yet here they sound substantially different. A rather interesting take on the originals, and one of the reasons why I so enjoy live presentations, even if it was simply live in the studio.
Just as I was impressed by the live show that Dredg put on, I was also impressed by the show that Underoath put on in St. Louis in 2010, touring for their then-new album Disambiguation. We heard a few very nice cuts from that album: Vacant Mouth, My Deteriorating Incline, and Paper Lung. After Underoath, we also heard a few songs from one of several excellent bands that opened that show, Architects: Numbers Count for Nothing, and Follow the Water, from their 2009 album Hollow Crown.