When it was announced that From Monument to Masses would be playing their last show ever at the Great American Music Hall with fellow Bay Area instrumental acts Silian Rail and Judgement Day, I remember feeling genuinely upset yet content since they had picked the perfect venue and opening acts to close out their 10 year career.
Eric Kuhn and Robin Landy, otherwise known as Silian Rail performed an impressive set, showcasing an enormous sound for only two members. They ventured through several songs from their last EP as well as their latest LP, Parhelion. Their dense and atmospherically epic sound melded well with the already ‘instrumental friendly’ crowd, which reached epic heights with the help of various projected visuals. It was nice to see the band play in a venue that complimented their style of music. Something I wouldn’t mind seeing more of.
[mp3]Silian Rail – Tituba from And I You, To Pieces (2008)
What more can be said about Judgement Day that hasn’t already been said by this website? Basically the band yet again slaughtered an unfamiliar crowd with their blend of ‘string metal’, experimentation, and humor. The band also broke out their “bucket drum kit” for two songs. One of which was Barrage; probably one of their more intense songs that was given a stripped down treatment yet remained as brutal as ever. My favorite thing to do now at a Judgement Day show is watch the audience. Most have this look of utter awe and fascination, while some are quite vocal about the performance. Some that I picked up were, “Holy fucking shit is this really happening?” and a girl who kept repeating, “Oh my God” over and over again. The feeling’s mutual.
[mp3] Judgement Day – Peacocks / Pink Monsters from Peacocks / Pink Monsters (2010)
Having known From Monument to Masses since their first tour with atmospheric rock band dredg, I have always seem them as a different entity than their other instrumental rock counterparts. Heavy on politics as expressed through the many samples that pepper throughout their songs, FMTM is more of a mesh of genres than a straight-up instrumental rock band. With influences ranging from Fugazi, DJ Shadow, and Mogwai; FMTM was always a unique band to me. This made seeing their final show a bittersweet farewell.
They played all across their catolague with songs from last year’s On Little Known Frequencies, 2005’s Schools of Thought Contend, and their more beloved debut, Impossible Leap in 34 Simple Steps. The band played with magnetic intensity and a passion for the music they have created throughout the years. You could tell that the band wasn’t spliting due to infighting or lack of chemistry, mainly because their stage presence was way too commanding and captivating. The sweetest aspect of the show had to be the sizeable crowd that came out that night to see the band off. They did their fair share of requests; “Play Sharpshooter!…Play Beyond God & Elvis!…Play whatever you want!….SHARPSHOOTER!” Around the end of the show, guitarist Matthew Solberg gave a tearful farewell to their dedicated fans and closed with a song they seldom played live; the epic tribute to 9/11, Sharpshooter.
Overall, it was a nice send-off from this exceptional band. We here at Kata Rokkar wish them the best in their endevors. They will be missed…
[mp3] From Monument to Masses – Sharpshooter from The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps (2003)
[mp3] From Monument to Masses – A Sixth Trumpet from On Little Known Frequencies (2009)