November 18, 2012

Matthew Dear / Light Asylum / Beacon / MNDR - Webster Hall - November 17, 2012


Saturday night's show was one those where I stood directly in front of the stage. My usual space, more often than not, is usually in a balcony, at a table, where I'm able to write things down. Since I couldn't take notes, I was counting on each band's people to come through with info, such as band member names and set lists. Unfortunately, three out of four requests to either the bands themselves or their publicists were not answered.  So much for free publicity. The only band that gratefully responded to my emails was Light Asylum.

I was more curious about seeing Matthew Dear than I was excited but as the evening progressed my feelings changed.  Though the room became full once Dear performed, the audience in the beginning of the evening was quite sparse. However, the evening's momentum grew with three bands that proceeded the featured artist. 


MNDR ,who performed as if she was in front of a packed arena audience, opened up the show and was fun to watch. MNDR basically make electronic music but it's not clear if MNDR is a name for Amanda Warner and Peter Wade as a duo or Warner's name as a solo artist.  Whichever the case, Warner worked the stage and the small attentive crowd in a very short but powerful set. Warner's vocals are MTV ready, meaning they sound somewhere between Gwen Stefani, Robyn and even Nicki Minaj.   My favorite songs were being "U.B.C.L" with it's subsonic bass and "Fall In Love With The Enemy," which had a opening theme played on synth that sounded like something out of gangster movie.

MNDR Setlist
1.Cut Me Out
2.Burning Hearts
3.U.B.C.L. *
4.I Go Away
5.Fall In Love With The Enemy

* Song may have extended into another song - did not receive verification of song list from MNDR

MNDR is/are:
Amanda Warner -Keys/Vocals
Peter Wade - Keys
Accompanied by 2 horn players and  a drummer.


Out of three opening electronic duo's, Deacon was my least favorite in terms of performance.   Though Thomas Mullarney III's vocals were extremely soulful, I found his performance kind of sullen and bit of a come down compared to MNDR and Light Aslyum who were quite animated.  I never got a set list from Beacon though I did request one through their webpage.  However, I'm pretty sure they did all the songs on their 2011 EP "No Body," which is definitely worth a listen for it's spacious sounding keyboard patches and tenor vocals.

Beacon are:
Thomas Mullarney III -vocals
Jacob Gossett - synthesizers

Light Asylum

As Light Asylum was setting up for their set, all I could think was okay my gays are in house. Unlike Light Asylum's press photo's, Bruno Coviello was serving Lauren Bacall androgyny counter to Shannon Funchess mega butch persona.  Once Light Asylum started their first song, their fans that had been standing by the stage made themselves known by dancing along.

Light Asylum's set was on fire and from my (older) perspective they seem like Yaz meets Our Daughter's Wedding meets Grace Jones. Then again, maybe a better way to but it would be to say that Light Asylum's music is 80's Electronica on steroids.  Whatever the case, it was good times.

My favorite songs were "Pope Will Roll," "Heart of Dust" and "End of Days," with the latter two being very rhythmic yet melodic.

Light Asylum Set List
Hour Fortress
Pope Will Roll
Dark Allies
Heart of Dust
Knights and Week Ends
End of Days
A Certain Person

Light Asylum are:
Shannon Funchess-Vox/percussion gun drums
Bruno Coviello- Synths/drum machine Italo crush

Matthew Dear

There was something very Bowiesque circa Thin White Dukes about Matthew Dear's presentation which I visually loved.  The presentation was tasteful. The band members dressed up, with each wearing jackets and/or a white shirt.   Bouquets of white roses were tied to each microphone stand and white lights were set on the stage floor shinning up.

Matthew Dear's music kept me listening and gave me sort of mindless high that I usually get when listening to Techno or even House music.  In other words, I was more entranced by the feeling of Dear's music than the actual notes or rhythms themselves. I also found Dear's conviction towards his music, and the way he danced around stage with tambourine in hand, very sexy

There are few songs I can mention as my favorite but that would only be because they were recognizable and memorable.  However,  for me, Matthew Dear's set wasn't about singing along with the songs I knew but being lost in the feeling of his music.

Matthew Dear's Set List *
Get the Rhyme Right
Up & Out
Do the Right Thing
Fleece on Brain
Shake Me
You Put a Smell on Me

Her Fantasy
Don & Sherri

*I haven't received verification - but since the band did not have any visible written set list on stage and I remember many of the songs - I am assuming the band did the same set list they did in Belgium the following week.

Matthew Dear's band are:
Ian Chang - Drums
Greg Paulus - Trumpet
Danny Scales - Bass
Samer Ghadry - Percussion & Guitar
Matthew Dear - Keyboards & Guitar

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