Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cynic/Meshuggah, 2.19.2009. Thoughts and Observations


I don't go to many shows anymore. It's not that I don't enjoy seeing live bands, it's just that my priorities have changed as I've aged. Whereas back in my college years I would happily pile into a car with friends and attend just about any show happening within fifty miles, nowadays I'd rather spend my Friday nights sitting in front of the television watching Battlestar Galactica DVDs with a mug of Stash Moroccan Mint Green Tea in my hand. Not exactly the most exciting way to spend a Friday night, I know, but for me it's entirely satisfying. Last Thursday, however, I was motivated to leave the comforts of my home to do something I never thought I'd be able to do--see Cynic live.


I'm a HUGE Cynic fan, ask any of the Metal Inquisition Staffers. I've been listening to Focus and the '91 demo religiously for years. I'm not ashamed to say that when I heard that Cynic was re-forming I shrieked with joy like a teenage girl that's just been offered a deflowering by Robert Pattison. I was a little apprehensive when I heard that they were recording a new album and more than ready to throw myself on a sword if said album sucked and ended up ruining their legacy. Shockingly enough, Traced in Air turned out to be quite possibly the greatest reunion album in the history of music. Against all the odds, Paul Masvidal, Sean Reinert, and Sean Malone (What the fuck does Jason Gobel have going on that he's too good to re-join the band?) managed to make an album that sounds exactly like what I imagine Cynic would sound like in 2009 if they had never broken up. They've dialed down the death metal and turned up the prog and fusion influences, but it still sounds like Cynic. There's still sweet riffs, soaring guitar solos, amazing drumming, and vocoder. So when I heard that they'd be playing Irving Plaza, which is a mere twenty minute train ride from my apartment, I immediately purchased a ticket.


I managed to time my departure perfectly as I arrived just as Cynic was preparing to play so I didn't have to sit through the shitty opening band, The Faceless, who I've never seen nor heard, but I'm sure sucks. I quickly ascended to the balcony and staked out a spot along the railing to the left of the stage. The place was PACKED. The show was completely sold out. As I looked around I couldn't help but notice the motley crowd. Lots of virgins, some legit bangers, meatheads, Hot Topic shoppers, and quite a few norms. The dude standing behind me was wearing a leather motorcycle jacket with a denim vest over it proudly displaying a Metallica patch on his front breast pocket and he kept making fun of Cynic. Motherfucker. Anyway, from the second Cynic hit the stage they killed it. They looked and sounded great. They played behind a huge banner with the band logo and these standees with the Traced in Air cover art. It was totally surreal. I lost my shit when they started playing "Veil of Maya." Watching Sean Reinert play is any drum nerd's wet dream and Paul Masvidal wailed his ass off. The scab bass player was kinda hard to watch and the scab guitarist was relegated to playing in the shadows. They played a bunch of new songs, which all sounded awesome, and Paul gave a little speech about how the band had come full circle by playing this show because the last show Cynic played before breaking up in '94 was in New York. They also played "Celestial Voyage" and "I'm But A Wave To." I'm still bummed they didn't play "Uroboric Forms" and the dude in front of me kept shouting "Pleading for Preservation," which I knew wasn't going to happen, but at least they did play "How Could I." The last solo in that song is probably my all time favorite and it never fails to move me (no homo). They only played for about a half hour, but I'm not about to complain because any live Cynic is better than no live Cynic.


To my surprise quite a few people cleared out once Cynic's set was over. I, on the other hand and against my better judgement, decided to stay and watch some of Meshuggah's set. I really liked Meshuggah in high school, but once I grew out of liking shitty music I stopped listening to them. I really just wanted to hear "Future Breed Machine" which is the only Meshuggah song I know and admit to liking. Let me tell you, people REALLY like Meshuggah. The second they started playing the entire place went fucking nuts. I haven't seen that many retards moshing since E-Town Concrete's "farewell" show. Needless to say, I couldn't take much of those chodes so I decided to bounce after a couple songs. I should also mention that during Meshuggah's set I constantly kept looking over at this really hot girl standing across from me that looked like Amy Winehouse. She was rave dancing throughout their entire set. Before leaving I took a piss and there was a can of Budweiser and a turd floating in the toilet. I'm pretty sure I saw Lord Ezec AKA Danny Diablo enter the restroom as I was leaving.

24 comments:

  1. now danny diablo thinks you don't flush

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  2. I wish I hadn't clicked that Danny Diablo link.

    I liked the new Cynic album, but I thought the bass wasn't that noticeable. That really sucked because Malone was awesome on Focus.

    What are the other guys of Cynic up to? Jason Gobel is in Portland spending time with his wife and kids. What kind of lame excuse is that? Tony Teegarden runs Pre-Paid Legal Services and has a "You Can Do It!" business blog that isn't worth reading:
    http://www.empowerment-4-life.com/

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  3. Oh come on this is the ultimate wank band. This is the last blog on earth I thought would post such shit.
    Move this damn post to Terrorizer.

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  4. cynic is the ultimate wank band? get the fuck out of here! you've obviously never heard dragonforce, watchtower, yngwie malmsteen, and a million other bands that wank WAY harder than cynic.

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  5. Haha, word up. Cynic sound pretty heady, but like Atheist knew how to properly use their chops to actually write, y'know, SONGS.

    I suck, I STILL need to get Traced in Air. But those early demos are the MADDDD notes. Amazing technical death-thrash. Glad you enjoyed the show, Balls.

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  6. Oh, and I fucking love Watchtower. Wank or not, if you call yourself a fan of progressive or technical metal and can't say you at least respect or have HEARD the Control and Resistance record, you should probably fucking do something about that.

    CONTROLLED BY CONFUSION! CONFUSED BY CONTROL!

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  7. if i was in management, i would totally hire tony teegarden to do a seminar at my job and during the question and answer portion i would ask him to demonstrate his death metal vocal skillz.

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  8. man, when i used to go to shows more often, i used to kinda know this one chick who ALWAYS rave danced to bands. Though, in thinking harder about it, her style was a weird mix of the hippie earth worship dance and rave style. Same person? Could be. Although, even though she's pretty hot, she doesn't look at all like amy winehouse (who, by the way, is not hot at all).

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  9. Seen them live last summer. They killed ! I was waiting for that moment to happen since 1993 since "Focus" kicked my ass !
    I wasn't at all disappointed and they're a nice bunch. Asked a friend if he'd come, he said "I hate new-age metal". Fuck the fuck off !

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  10. Both bands are unlistenable, to my ears. Technical wankery. But the worst aspect are the positive reviews and comments they receive. I'd like to make up a webzine just to incinerate them, along with a bunch of other highly praised bands that I can't stand.
    In the same webzine, I'll obviously praise my godz, Benediction. ;-)

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  11. I considered flying to Chicago from Texas to see this tour, but the timing was wrong. Glad it was as awesome as I dreamed it could be.

    I'm seeing the faceless on sunday, they're basically a tech-death cynic ripoff (replete with vocoders).

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  12. Great post, seen Cynic live 3 times since the Reunion! All of the shows blew me away, Cynic NEVER disappoint live.
    Funny thing is that I also shrieked with joy like a teenage girl that's just been offered a deflowering by Robert Pattison when I read in a Metal-Hammer zine (which is awful by the way, only used to buy it because of the cool posters that were in it) that they were going to reunite, Cynic is my all-time super favourite band!

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  13. i'm sorry, frank, but if you like benedicition your opinions on music are completely null and void.

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  14. Always go against the grain, that's my mission in life.
    Anyway, I always thought that skill isn't that relevant in music. That's a contradiction in itself, because I also hate punk.
    I'm sure those bands are amazing live, though. Fucking brilliant musicians. Not so brilliant songs.

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  15. if musical talent was a pre-requisite for success i don't think metallica would be multi-millionaires.

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  16. The Faceless is one of the best technical death metal bands this decade you old fuck.

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  17. Awesome post, hopefully Cynic will get paired with some better bands for the tour later this year.

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  18. Check! Ok, what will the next post be about, a retrospective on Dream Theater?

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  19. I think Cynic are awesome, but they are also completely hilarious. The robo-voice, the incorporation of Satan's favorite music (jazz fusion lite) and the whole 90's pseudo hippy-dippyness topped off with chapman stick. C'mon man, CHAPMAN STICK!?

    The Faceless, on the other hand, are worthless.

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  20. i have lost all respect for this blog with the ignorance towards the faceless

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  21. Man I was at this show. I flew there from CA, I missed getting the SF tickets! Meshuggah was completely nuts and great. I love the new Cynic album, and I've never even heard "Focus". Traced in Air is *great*. That said, I couldn't get into the live show much, though it was a kick to hear Adam's Murmur live. But yeah, people do love Meshuggah. They did 4 songs of Chaosphere, half of Obzen, etc. They played a much longer set than the LA crowd got, by accounts. What else could you fn want?

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  22. dude,I love Cynic.
    butdamn, the faceless is one of the best tech death bands out there...
    you probly missed one hell of an opening act...

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  23. A lot of thanks for sharing this post with us .

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