Posted on 29 February 2012 by dubs
Mutemath, Canon Blue
Ace of Spades, Sacramento – Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012
Words by Ashley Hassinger – Photos Mike Ibe
Mutemath returned to Sacramento for a stunning performance with musical guest Canon Blue. With distinctive musical styles, these two bands complemented each other flawlessly. A strong emphasis on an array of instruments and powerful lead vocals illustrated genuine musicianship.
Canon Blue, solo project of Daniel James, opened up the night, playing as a trio on this occasion. With the recent release of Canon Blue’s sophomore album Rumspringa, James spoke to the audience about Amish culture being a heavy influence on the album.
His six-song set lasted 30 minutes. James’s set list was a mixture of old and new tracks, allowing the audience to get a full taste of the rich and funky Canon Blue.
An essential feature you can hear with Canon Blue’s recent music is a string quartet. This element gives Canon Blue a unique quality and James is able to recreate this sound with samplers during his live show. Layering a combination of string instruments and James’ vocals generates a refreshed sound. Canon Blue gives listener’s unpredictable sounds and lyrics and has a euphonic substance.
In addition to the layering, the tracks have a variety of tones varying from light and jazz style to an alternative and fast tempo. Canon Blue’s unorthodox sound is what draws in new listeners.
Canon Blue wrapped up their set with a funky and upbeat jam titled “Chicago.” This track is a perfect example of the sound you’ll hear on Rumspringa: a string quartet introduction ultimately bringing in James’ voice.
Standing in the crowd, I overheard a few audience members mumbling, “Who is this band?” Canon Blue made a substantial impression on both fans and new listeners. Their opening made a great introduction to the headlining Mutemath that was to follow.
Writing and performing for almost a decade, Mutemath have polished and perfected their art of music. With three full-length studio albums including their most recent release in October, Odd Soul, Mutemath had a great deal of material to work with for the show.
For those unfamiliar with the sound of Mutemath, imagine a fusion of funk, jazz and rock. Lead vocalist Paul Meany adds an undertone of soul to complete their colorful and distinguished sound.
Known for their exceptional live performances, Mutemath didn’t delay to impress the crowd with a non-traditional entrance. Drummer Darren King led the band in a drum-line formation from the audience onto the stage, with a string of lights hanging above them.
As they took to the stage, there was no hesitation in energy and excitement from the band members as the first song “Odd Soul,” off their third studio album, started up. Bassist Roy Mitchell-Cardenas and newest member Todd Gummerman on the guitar joined in with King and Meany with an immense amount of liveliness on the stage.
The excitement wasn’t limited to one area with Meany interacting with the crowd, and singing in the middle of the audience for the performance of “Equals.”
A favorable characteristic of Mutemath’s performances is their ability to have quick transitions. There is little downtime between songs, allowing for the audience to get the most out of the show.
Along with their swift changeovers, there was a great light show throughout the performance, which took the concert to the next level.
With high energy and dedication, Mutemath gave an exceptional arrangement of their songs over the years, and their animation was contagious to the crowd. Mutemath is one of the few bands left that performs solely for the joy of their audience.
The songs they performed included “Blood Pressure,” “Spotlight” and “Walking Paranoia,” to name a few. The band played a total of 26 songs, giving the audience a passion-filled show.
|Categories Reviews, Show||Tags Ace of Spades,Ashley Hassinger,Canon Blue,Daniel James,Darren King,Feb. 8 2012,Gummerman,Mike Ibe,Mutemath,Odd Soul,Paul Meany,Roy Mitchell-Cardenas,Sacramento|