BEING AS AN OCEAN
Vanna, My Iron Lung
It’s Sunday evening in Paris and we’re rounding off the week in the Northern parts of the city with a few people and music. Today Being As An Ocean are headlining and they brought with them on this run My Iron Lung and Vanna. Sadly, british band Crooks couldn’t make it to this show due to transportation issues, which is a shame because we were quite excited to see them as well.
The venue is still quite empty when My Iron Lung enter the stage calmly and the few people in presence appear shy at first, standing a little bit far from the stage. If the band was probably a discovery to many people, we couldn’t help but notice that there were some real fans out there, singing those lyrics.
My Iron Lung aren’t really that type of band who jumps everywhere on stage while performing, however, you can feel that they play their music with their heart and soul and this is probably what makes their performance beautiful.
Playing a genuinely complex kind of melodic hardcore, coming nearer to metal at times. The gritty vocals sound desperate and full of commitment, which contribute to that feel you have of their music grabbing you by the throat, leaving you breathless. Instrumentally, it’s like an alert, some kind of a calm before the storm. However the storm didn’t exactly happen as the whole audience, despite looking captivated by the music didn’t really dare to express themselves, which led to some awkward silences in between the songs. Vocalist Matthew Fitzpatrick tried to and even asked for some more movement in the crowd but it didn’t really take off expect for a couple of stage dives. This has absolutely taken nothing from My Iron Lung’s performance that was absolutely stunning, with a special mention to their light show, all in blue-ish shades, remaining faithful to the atmosphere of the band’s latest release ‘Relief’.
Different band, but same roster, Vanna are a band we knew more about as we did hear a lot from them in the past years. And it was quite surprising to us to see them in the middle of such a line up to be honest; as it is the kind of band you would usually see in more vigorous tours. However, we quickly forgot about everything we were thinking about the second the band started playing so much they immediately caught everyone’s attention with their overly energetic take on the stage. Having recently released a new album ‘Void’, you could immediately hear the direction this band is heading towards at the moment and sometimes actually understand what they were doing on this bill. Their sound has obviously matured, from a classic hardcore formula in the vein of ‘A New Hope’ to something deeper and more plaintive. The musical content is thicker and has definitely a lot of things to say. In terms of performance, these guys have ants in their pants, especially frontman Davey Muise who’s a real dynamo. But he made the whole performance about the people who were here for the music, about the fans, trying to get as close to them as possible, sometimes sitting on the front limit of the stage, others bringing his microphone inside the crowd and singing there. This has obviously awoken the people and indeed, the people finally started moving. Vanna aren’t new to this scene, neither to touring, nor to Europe, but they are still holding their beliefs of freedom, of this place being a place where we should free ourselves from our worries, whatever they are. It’s under a round of applause and a satisfied, even amazed crowd that Vanna initiate their last song for the night, Bienvenue, before leaving the stage for good.
Being As An Ocean were headlining for the second time this year in Paris and we were hoping things would go better and smoother than the last time, during things were cut short pretty quickly. Being As An Ocean is one of those rare bands that have something very emotional and powerful in the way they not only perform but also gather the people together. They also have a strong community of extremely faithful fans who don’t miss their shows for the world and this is something absolutely fantastic to see.
Still on their “How We Both Wondrously Perish” touring cycle, Being As An Ocean naturally played several songs off this release such as L’exquisite Douleur, which is an incredibly beautiful song, after opening their set with the two henceforth classics The Hardest Part… and Dear G-d. Contrary to the few other times I saw them earlier this year, I thought the clean vocal work improved. It’s as if new singer Michael McGough finally found his footing in the band, which is a good point. Joel Quartuccio still handles his role as a frontman perfectly and the proximity between him and his fans is also a pure delight to watch. As for the other musicians, they can seem more discreet, but their happiness while performing is visible and somehow comforting. However, it’s a shame that Being As An Ocean still plays such short sets, even as headliners when we do know they now have enough material to perform longer, because it is kind of frustrating at times to feel so involved in a performance that already has to end before you actually enjoyed it to the fullest.
It’s still early when things come to an end, but I can’t help but feel completely satisfied and relaxed with the evening we just had and it’s one of those rare times I have the feeling this comforting atmosphere took over the whole venue, which wasn’t as noisy as end of shows are usually like. And it was refreshing!
Photos © Mariam B. // www.plugin-mag.com.
Full photo album available using the following link :
MY IRON LUNG | VANNA | BEING AS AN OCEAN