As we've already discussed a bit this week, A Place To Bury Strangers have about as much a problem turning up the volume knob as Rick Perry does seeking hair product.
Which makes this recent, surprise announcement all the more awesome: Oliver Ackermann and his strobe-loving, death-obsessed crew will be hitting the Granada Theater tonight to headline a free show also featuring Gentlemen Hall and Fort Worth's The Burning Hotels.
It's not the fist time the band has played the Granada; just last year Doug Davis caught APTBS as they opened up for The Big Pink at the same venue. Perhaps it was the abrasive fuzz that such intense volume can bring forth in a live setting or perhaps it was just that the band wasn't feeling terribly melodic, but on that night, Davis wasn't a fan of APTBS. Citing a lack of melody, Davis likened the band's performance to an "ear-splitting headache."
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In all honesty, it's understandable how a band that rips the paint off the walls in the manner that APTBS does can have nights where pain rattles through an audience member's body more than excitement does. On record, however, melody, lyricism and overall mood are easy to spot -- and to really cling heartily to.
The two full-length albums and the handful of EPs that the band has released have laid bare Ackermann's understanding that, without a sturdy foundation of crafting songs that can thrive on their own without maniacal effects, he might as well aspire to nothing more than a noisy sideshow.
Yesterday, Ackermann talked a bit about influences such as Jesus & The Mary Chain and Nine Inch Nails. Today, he goes even deeper and tells us about the five loudest shows he's ever seen.
A Place to Bury Strangers Frontman Oliver Ackermann's All-Time Top Five Loudest Performances He's Ever Seen
1. Dinosaur Jr. at the Boathouse. I can't remember the band that opened up for them at this show, but I remember yelling in my friend's ear as we were trying to talk back and forth during the opening band and we just couldn't do it. Then Dinosaur Jr. got on stage and they were like ten times louder, but super bad-ass, so we didn't care!
2. Lightning Bolt at the Safari Lounge. Not so many of us were expecting the crazy insanity being set up right next to us. But right after the band before them played there was this super loud drum explosion coming from right next to me on the floor and then, wham! Bass in the face! Super rad explosive beats and big power amps bringing the bass in the mix with the drums, which were acoustic because they didn't play on a stage, and were loud as hell because he hit them so hard. Absolutely amazing!
3. My Bloody Valentine in Los Angeles. I don't remember the dome/theater they played in, but it really got to be super loud and this was in more recent years where I have been playing some pretty loud music for years and even standing with my head against speakers when they exploded. At the MBV show when they were playing "You Made Me Realise," I could only stand it without earplugs for about a minute before it was just too damn loud and then I had to put them in. I tried to take them out a couple of times, but I just had to put them back in because it just seemed dangerous. Maybe, had I been younger, I would have endured it and ended up not becoming a musician.
4. Force Field at the Tap Room. This dude had, like, a spring and a microphone and the most deafening feedback of all time coming from some amps in a loud wooden room for about a half of an hour. It was just non-stop, super-fucking-loud feedback. Everyone had their hands on their ears and not just because they didn't want to take it, we really just couldn't. It was really strange. I don't know why people didn't leave, it was such a mysterious spectacle and everybody wanted to see what was going on. Perhaps in another environment it would have been annoying, but instead it was rad.
5. PC Alien / Fuck Dub at Death By Audio. Now, this show was not that well known about, so if you weren't there you really missed out! It was the culmination of a bunch of NY bands (PC Worship, Guardian Alien, Dubknowdub, Fuck Ton) all mushed together to form this one behemoth of sound! It didn't start out being the loudest thing in the world, but it built slowly and beautifully until it reached this ear-shattering explosion of sound and fury. It was really cool because they took the time to let you really, really want to be there so that you were just mesmerized and didn't even realize it was getting so loud. It was beautiful.A Place To Bury Strangers perform for free tonight at the Granada Theater.