Instead of cluttering up the Upcoming Shows thread too much.
Last night I saw Mission of Burma for free in Cleveland. A college radio station had a small one day festival of 8 local and regional bands headlined by Mission of Burma. I had shit to do yesterday, and honestly, I didn't want to sit through 8 hours of bands I'd never heard of by myself, so I showed up around 8 p.m., two hours before MoB was scheduled to go on. I was able to catch two local acts. The show was held in an outdoor courtyard at the university where the radio station is located, and it was a pleasant area to see a show. When I got there, there were lots of people sitting in grass picnicking with their families. A lot of kids were having fun dancing to between set music such as Television and the Dead Boys.
The first band I saw was called Kid Tested. It was pretty typical early 90s style indie/alternative rock (they had a song about Daniel Johnston and another one called "Husker Don't", I wonder if there's an umlaut over the 'o'). The playing was pretty good, but the vocals were completely unremarkable. After about half an hour of watching the familiar scene of dorky white dudes playing guitars, I wandered back to my car to snack on some food I had brought.
Next up was Megachurch. They dress up like bible salesmen and play instrumental groove heavy math metal with samples of preachers and Kiss stage-banter. For the most part, the songs themselves were excellent, but the samples got kind of old after awhile. Between songs they would let them go on for like two minutes while they just stood there and it was pretty unnecessary. Occasionally they integrated them into the songs and it worked, but more often it detracted from the music. A few of the songs were a little aimless, but some of them really slayed. Given time to refine, they could end up being a really good band.
Finally, it was time for Burma to go on, but amp drama caused a bit of a delay as they ended up having to use Megachurch's. Roger Miller seemed pretty annoyed about the situation, but as soon as they worked out the kinks and started playing, it was obvious they were really excited to be in front of an audience. The crowd was surprisingly sparse towards the beginning, but as the set went on, it filled up. They opened with "Academy Fight Song" and then played a bunch of songs from ONoffON and The Obliterati. At some point, some annoying wacky little chick made her way to the front of the crowd where I was standing with her dog, which pissed me the fuck off and ruined the show for a couple of songs (luckily a bunch of slower, mostly newer songs). At some point she said something to me and I told her she shouldn't have a dog so close at a show, to which she responded "Oh he doesn't mind." How the fuck do you know, cunt? That's the problem with free shows: just about anyone can and will show up. Eventually she cleared out and the band started digging up some classics from Vs. and Signals, Calls & Marches. As soon as they played "That's When I Reach For My Revolver", the crowd went nuts and stayed that way for the rest of the show as the band tore through classic after classic. Burma seemed really thrilled and grateful to be playing and everyone was having a great time. During their encore, they played a cover of Pere Ubu's "Heart Of Darkness" in dedication to Cleveland. The almost ended with my favorite song of theirs ("Max Ernst") but half way through the drummer forget his part so they played something I didn't recognize. I probably would have been disappointed if I wasn't have such a good time otherwise. Overall, it was a great way to close out the summer and reminded me why I like Cleveland so much despite all its deficiencies.
I'll edit in pictures in a little while.