Sep 22, 2011

Sebadoh @ Metro Theatre

Sebadoh. The very word conjures up images of 90s rock greatness. Guitars crunching and melodies soaring. Introspection and passion in one deadly mix. They sailed under the radar, but those in the know remembered just how great they were. So after a long hiatus they have returned. To the stages of the world. Wednesday night they landed back in Sydney at the Metro Theatre. They gave us close to two hours of rocking swagger and aggression. Aggression laced with melancholic melody.

Unfortunately the night fell just short of greatness because of, to my ears, a poor sound mix. At first the guitars seemed just crunchy, but as the night wore on it became apparent that the lead guitar was way too loud and the vocals a little buried. Maybe this was a deliberate mix by the band, but I would have preferred a little more clarity and crispness to let the songs shine. For these songs are truly great and to that point I was able to enjoy the night. Especially the Barlow numbers. When Jason Loewenstein took the mic it became a little too much of a screamathon. Especially when played back to back. Having said that I did enjoy songs like "Careful" and the encore number "Not Too Amused". But Lou shined, despite the sound, on so many great tunes. "On Fire" was deliberate and well paced. "Skull" was pure melodic greatness, whilst tunes like "Rebound" and "Magnet's Coil" rollicked along with great alacrity. "Soul And Fire" was also welcomed with open arms, as was the stunning "Not A Friend", one of my all time favourite Sebadoh numbers. As you can see "Bakesale" was given a heavy portion of the night, with many "Harmacy" songs also joining the party. We also gratefully heard some older songs, including a few from the classic album "Bubble And Scrape". The main set closed with the sublime "Brand New Love", a song of immense heart and beauty. So, all in all, it was a great night to trip down memory lane. I certainly enjoyed hearing these amazing songs brought to life once again. I just wish the aural experience had been a better one.

Set List
On Fire
Too Pure
Magnet's Coil
Shit Soup
Mind Reader
Got It
Love To Fight
Drag Down
The Freed Pig
License To Confuse
Drama Mine
Crystal Gypsy
Bird In The Hand
Soul And Fire
Two Years Two Days
Beauty Of The Ride
Not A Friend
Forced Love
Together Or Alone
New Worship
Brand New Love

Not Too Amused
Willing To Wait


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