Wednesday night was one of those nights where I felt like I had to convince myself to go to the show and that’s so silly. I knew the music was going to be good but I was flying solo. I never have an issue flying solo when I’m at one of “my venues” but this was at The Icehouse. I’ve been to The Icehouse before but the vibe there is definitely different from my normal spots creating an air of anxiety around me especially when I go alone. To my surprise, I was far from alone and before even entering the uptown venue, I ran into a friend. All is well and I realized that the time spent in my car debating if I even wanted to go in was time wasted.
I knew I was going to know the headlining act of the night as I had seen them a couple of times but it was the opener that had reached out to me about checking the night out. I knew nothing about them but quickly ran into a buddy from college that I hadn’t seen for years. I won’t go into all of the details but said buddy used to have a record label in town and in my first couple semesters at college, I was one of his interns. There was something comforting about running into him and, when he told me that he was actually in this opening act, any anxiety that was still lingering instantly fell to the wayside. He joked that I should be gentle as this would be his band’s third ever show. I laughed knowing that I am anything but gentle when it comes to my reviews but I then it started.
Unstable Shapes took the stage right at 9 PM and, within the first couple of songs, I had taken to my phone telling all of my friends that I had just found my new favorite band. I wasn’t being dramatic. Unstable Shapes’ sound has a post-hardcore vibe with very emotional vocals and delivery of said vocals. The first song that they performed gave me an almost Refused vibe with the amount of angst that came through loud and clear whereas the second track had a bit more of a somber mode to it before it ramped up into another angsty anthem. Musically, I loved the chaos that came with the guitar, bass, and drums but it was the vocals that had me absolutely shook. With morbidly dark lyrics and a frontman that delivered them with an undeniable sense of passion, I found myself ignoring everything else going on around me and just honing in on the vocals. The way the vocalist would scream with the microphone held to his chest was a powerful moment and sound that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake.
I could go on and on and Unstable Shapes and how their thirty-five minute set was just not enough for me but I also feel like I have already said all that I have to say. I was just lost in their world throughout their time on the intimate stage and found myself relating more to this band than I do to some bands that I have been listening to for decades. The power behind Unstable Shapes is something that just has to be heard and seen to be understood. Wednesday night’s performance was their third performance so they are still fairly new but I expect that I will be writing about this band many times in the near future.
I feel like I just wrote about local band Dead History because, well, I did. I recently caught this band in February at The Turf Club when they played with Loss Leader but that doesn’t change the excitement that I felt as the band took the stage on Wednesday and jumped into their set. As I mentioned last time, I feel like seeing Dead History live sparks a fire in my soul and they did that again with their performance at The Icehouse. Much like Unstable Shapes, Dead History brings an undeniable sense of power and emotion to the stage. Their sound, like the opener, is very much post-hardcore styled but it comes with a bit less chaos and a bit more tenderness. With vocals that bridge the gap between bands like Iron Chic and Thursday with a twist that can only be classified as that of Dead History, I was, again, completely lost in the sounds rather than the space I was in.
I really wish I had more to say about Dead History’s set but it was honestly more of the same from what I’ve always gotten from them. That sounds like a bad thing but I don’t mean it to. This band is just one of those solid acts that only ever slightly change and hone in on their sound making any changes (outside of new songs) almost indistinguishable. Dead History has a sound and a stage presence that is distinct and powerful so there’s nothing that needs to change here. Sure, hearing a new song in their set was a change but, really, the highlight of their set was just being able to witness their genius and passion right in front of me again.
I walked into The Icehouse on Wednesday reluctantly and alone only to find out that there was no place I’d rather be and I knew more people and recognized more faces than I could have ever imagined. It ended up being the perfect way to spend my Wednesday night.
Venue: The Icehouse
Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable
Average Age of the Crowd: 36
Crowd Surfers- None
Stage Divers- None
Mosh-ability- 2 out of 10
Sausage-Fest Meter- 7 out of 10
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $0
Broken Bones- None
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Fights- None Witnessed
Passed Out Kids- 0
Idiots Taken Out By Security – None
How Irritated I Was With The Audience – 0 out of 10
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
Unstable Shapes – 0
Dead History – 2
Celebrity Sightings – Andy of WRRC
Overall Score- 9.5 out of 10
Show on Deck — Every Avenue
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