Monday, December 19, 2005

First Unitarian Church, Phili, PA. / December 16th 2005

Evening one was in Philadelphia at the First Unitarian Church .

Sunno))) with Xastur playing at a real church?

I couldn't pass that once in lifetime chance up so in the car I went. Be sure to click on the church link because truly there couldn't possibly be a more beautiful and perhaps ironic place for such a band to play. I also have to applaud the venue for having their staff dressed in black robes for this momentous occasion. The crowd filled every pew and practically every inch of of the floor and while I can’t be 100% certain the space looked very much filled to capacity.

Sunno))) does not tour very often and Malefic AKA Xastur is a genuine shut in and NEVER TOURS... so truly this was a show not to be missed. This particular line up and location was absolutely a one shot deal.

Thanks to holiday traffic I arrived 7 1/2 hours later; completely missing Jack Rose and Growing but making it just in time to catch Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley of Sunno))) making a few last minute adjustments on stage. Hearty hellos were exchanged and sips from a bottle of wine were taken before they left to change into their traditional show robes.

It isn't every day a person is asked to be the druid barer of smoke so I was umm...honored (?) to be in charge of their smoke machines that upon their request were to go off as often as their hands strummed their guitar in a downward direction. As you might imagine by the end of the show there was so much damn fog in the church one could hardly see from one end of the space to the other. I don’t know which part was most absurd…a long set of drone from a wall of speaker cabinets and men in robes or me crouched in a ball on the stairs leading to the stage triggering smoke machines and my lungs taking in geyser like explosions of smoke every few minutes. My nagging cough two days later makes for a swell souvenir.

Sunno)))'s performance was a sloppy compared to all the other times I have seen them play but the combination of the church environment with ungodly amounts of smoke, the inclusion of the church pipe organs being played over their set, and guest vocals by Xastur more then made up for Stephen and Greg’s visibly drunk antics.

The final 5 minutes of their set included throwing mic stands all over the stage / into the crowd, stage lights being smashed in and with amps off the band giving the crowd the finger and screaming FUCK YOU. None of this offend the audience and if anything the Neanderthal behavior led a more ravenous and thunderous applause.

As surreal and absurd as this show was it still wins best show of 2005 and the R5 crew are saints for not only making this show happen and securing the location but for putting up with the band's ritual of juvenile debauchery for their very first show of tour.

I will lovingly call both Greg and Stephen Drunky McDrone from this point on and just to make it clear I am not picking on strangers, these are fellas I have known for almost 15 years.