The dude at the music store had said, "you know how the Red Hot Chili Peppers sound?" Of course, being from Texas I said, "yes" and he responded, "Well, they aren't really like that." Oh. "But I hear they do a great concert." Since I later found out Doug Van Pelt was planning to go as well, it moved from a probable to a definite.
Mr. Music Store Dude described them as "the rockier side of alternative". I won't even try to peg them, except to say they are sort of alternative, they definitely rock, and I plan to go see them again when they come through (probably Dallas or San Antonio) again this summer.
Asight Unseen stormed the stage as if they were playing to a monster crowd instead of the small group who had somehow found out about the gig (a perpetual problem with the Austin Christian music scene). They played hard, they played beautifully, they got kinda crazy, they got real.
So what are they like live? So much guitar I kept looking for the hidden 3rd guitar. Perfect bass (often with one of the funkiest sounds around). A hard-driving, rock steady drum beat a la Aaron Smith. A variety of excellent vocal styles kept the house rocking the whole set. There wasn't quite a mosh pit, but that was probably fine; the concert was at a church and there were half as many parents and (ahem) more mature people (sitting waaaay in the back, of course) in attendance as there were "youth" (whatever that is).
The set kicked off with "The Chant", a psychedelic tune about being bought and sold. A perfect tune to start an Asight Unseen concert, because these guys are serious about being sold out to Christ.
Most of the tunes were from their latest album, Hollywood Proverbs (reviewed in the latest issue of "Heavens Metal"). They did 3 tunes from their first album, Circus of Shame, and one tune by Lenny Kravitz ("oh, man, I WISH we had written that song!")
Since the crowd was small, the whole setting was pretty intimate. Jason shared quite a bit with us, and at one point asked if we wanted to tone it down or get rockier. If anybody wanted it softer, I guess they moved to the back pretty soon, because the band took the yells to heart and dug in even harder.
Highlights of the concert for me included "Keepin' Time", with way qool background vocals keeping perfect time in a perverse way, the band going nuts musically during "The Big Whamboowee" ("it's whatever you want it to be!"), and a looong jam which started with "Electric Angel Blues" (with a distinct "Gimme Shelter" influence) and eventually segued into "God's Ways" (VERY reminiscent of old U2 slowed down just a little), including "the Lord's Prayer", which built to a wild crescendo which sent shivers of glory up and down my spine when Jason shrieked out "deliver us from evil" in a voice which probably had every demon within a city block fleeing for its worthless life.
At this point, Jason rapped with us for a while about holiness, about being sold out to God, and letting go of hurts, pain, pride, and other things most of us really don't have much use for. This had been, in some form or fashion, the theme of most of the songs as well. We prayed, with Jason right down there with us.
The band came back for one more song, "Dave" ("this isn't the theme song from the movie..."), a capsule of two men's lives along time ago - Saul & David, from the latter's perspective.
All in all, this was a fantastic concert. Much better than I expected for a fairly new band with just two albums out.
I definitely recommend you catch this band if your tastes are any harder than Amy Grant and softer than Tourniquet.
Song Album -------------------- ----- The Chant HP The Purging COS Slide HP Rosemary * Keepin' Time HP The Big Whamboowee HP Ausgaphlit HP Electric Angel Blues COS God's Ways COS Dave HPHP = Hollywood Proverbs
Who What -------------- ------ Bert Sanchez Drums Derek Bell Guitar Jason Lohrke Vocals John Oliveira Bass Mike Longridge Guitar Rick Oliveira Sound & Management Lori Longridge Merchandise Sales