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Boredoms (live at Station to Station)

Boredoms live at Station to Station 2015The Barbican, London
27 June 2015

88 cymbal beaters, five drummers, four bassists, four guitarists and one EYƎ, an ensemble that literally dwarfed the stage bathed in super-real colours. Right from the start this felt more like a ritual than a show — an invocation even. From its early referential whisperings it held you in its meditative grip, then flung your expectations wide open on colossal tidal pulls, propelled further by EYƎ and Yoshimi’s invocation-like chanting.

Circles within circles pulsating inward/outward, like a ceremonial henge splashed in roaring schisms and driven tribals. A hissy tide that eroded your senses in chattering collateral. At times it felt like you were riding the massive bow wave of some scaly Kraken, or a radiating, sizzling shoal of shape-shifting piranhas.

A hyper-physical spectacle that placed EYƎ (messiah-like) at its very epicentre, directing the flow, a grand vizier pushing his palms out from within the circle of 88 cymbals, the players flowing to his commands, kelp swaying with every sizzling wash, butterfly-winging the volume, unleashing plenty of roof-bound maelstroms on sky-thrown arms. An incredible two plus hours orchestrated to perfection.

Boredoms live at Station to Station 2015

The live birds-eye projections affixing to each side of the auditorium added a vital visual atlas to proceedings, symmetrically dancing like a Simple Simon game in light-flooded segments or sparking with intense flashes of colour to the electric vibes pouring off the stage. A wavering intensity, affixed by hammered bursts of fixed stare percussion, powerful wows fringed in tinselly by-lines and heel-licked by the bassy contingents, Boredoms drummer and sometime vocalist Yoshimi throwing Butoh-like flares across it all, skim-stoning the stick-chucked abstractions.

A Takemitsu-like brittleness that was in turn machine-fed into a glitching soup, swirling PA wrecking balls that switched back and forth between realities. Realities that hooked into superb curls of keyboard, the guitar picking up the mantle, shifting the dynamics, drums tightening the momentum further. The rhythmics kicking gleeful arpeggios across the lock-grooved goodness.  This phoenix-like beam of optimism ray-gunning the place, slammed into by incessant percussives that pushed at the ears with synthesizered blurs, your body swimming with its electric eels. I swear if we weren’t all seated everybody would have been jumping about to those euphorics.

Boredoms live at Station to Station 2015

Psychedelics that nosedived into a quiet (and an ironically deafening) Dopplering effect that matched the Om-like hum of the surrounding amplification. A minimalistic verve that yielded a curious pin-drop magnetism on the audience, sucked at your concentration like a hungry baby. It seemed to go on for an eternity as it rose slowly out of its slumber, complemented by shimmering heartbeats. Then boom, the action returned uber-magnified, blown apart by a chaotic free for all. A chaos that EYƎ took the reins of and manically charged with booming mantras, flying the cymbal action diagonally out, musically stoking the whole 100 plus into the heart of some imaginary sun. An experience that left you psychically buzzing.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

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