Concert Review + Photography: Moving Mountains, O’Brother, La Dispute, and Thrice at the Mayan (Los Angeles, CA)

Moving Mountains (NY), O’Brother (GA), La Dispute (MI), Thrice (CA)
November 8th, 2011
The Mayan in Los Angeles, California

Gallery: Moving Mountains
Gallery: O’Brother
Gallery: La Dispute
Gallery: Thrice

Moving Mountains gracefully started the show off in Los Angeles at the Mayan.  Focusing mostly on songs from their newest release, Waves they got the crowd moving nicely.  Some fans had mentioned Mov Mou were one of the acts they were anxious to see and I was glad that they weren’t disappointed.  I was in this boat and am glad to report that Moving Mountains puts on a hell of a show.  Singer Gregory Dunn sounds amazing live and drummer Nicholas Pizzolato and bassist Mitchell Lee never missed a beat.

O’Brother is more than just hair.  These 5 guys from Georgia know how to rock, hard.   It was a welcomed change of pace from the structured sounds Moving Mountains provided to the almost ambient experimental rock they offered the crowd.  The band played mostly songs off their upcoming album Garden Window set to be released on the 15th.  (Get this record, you need it).  The band let their songs speak for themselves, which are textured enough to create atmospheres of their own.   The moody sometimes fuzzy guitars pair excellently with the vocals creating an eerie atmosphere.  It is easy to get lost in their music but it is a lot of fun to watch them play.  The crowd watched in awe as O’Brother thrashed around the stage.  Watching bassist Anton and guitarist Johnny Dang play under their massive hair was entertaining and impressive.  Singer Tanner Merritt can really project his voice- it almost demands attention over the 4 guitars they have going at times.  They also double on percussion at times with Michael Martin being the resident drummer and Aaron Wamack doing auxillary drumming at times.  It is obvious that the guys love what they are doing since they never missed an opportunity to hit the stage and help the other bands play.  Watching O’Brother play is anything but boring.

La Dispute has an admirable energy on stage.  It became clear within their first song that they have a huge fan base in Los Angeles.  Singer Jordan Dreyer hit the stage running and shoeless.  A bit reminiscent of bands like mewithoutYOU at times lyrics are delivered in an almost speaking like fashion over hardcore instrumentals.  In the middle of the second song of their set Dreyer jumped into the crowd.  Members from O’Brother helped them play on a few songs too.  Fans were also left with a life lesson of sorts about how holding onto people who make us happy is very important.  Although O’Brother was a very tough act to follow, La Dispute managed to take the excitement of the crowd another notch right before Thrice hit the stage.

Thrice is currently touring in support of their newest release Major/Minor.  The band sounded amazingly despite Dustin Kensrue’s sore throat.  Their set started off with “Yellow Belly” and although they played a lot from their newest album they still played crowd pleasers like “Silhouette,” which got a lot of crowd surfers going.  They’ve brought along Invisible Children, a group aiming at stopping the abduction of children for use as child soldiers.  Around the middle of their set they passed around a donation bin for fans to contribute to the cause.  The band was in high spirits and created an incredible energy in the Mayan.  Members from O’Brother and La Dispute came and helped with percussion sporadically throughout their set.  They dedicated “Anthology” to fans that had suck with them throughout the years.  Their encore consisted of “Phoenix Ignition” and “To Awake and Avenge the Dead,” and sent the crowd into a frenzy.    Dustin jumped into the crowd on the last few bars of “To Awake and Avenge the Dead” and the crowd went ballistic.  The expression on Dustin’s face was priceless.  He seemed genuinely happy and grateful for every person that made it past the ocean of frantic, screaming fans to touch his arm or try to scream along with him.  Guitarist Teppei Teranishi, bassist Eddie Breckenridge and drummer Riley Breckenridge were reeking havoc of their own on stage always playing steady and sure. Thrice is reaping the benefits so rightly deserved of the hard work they’ve invested in their music over the last decade.

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