GIG REVIEW: Leprous, Earthside & Dissona Live at The Waiting Room, Buffalo, NY
It was unusually warm and comfortable for October when Norwegian progressive metal titans Leprous descended upon Western NY at The Waiting Room in Buffalo. This had been a show I’d been anticipating for a long time. Last year’s ‘The Congregation’ was one of my ten favorite albums of the year. The small but eager crowd buzzed in anticipation, marred only by the constant playing of various god-awful “metal” versions of the obnoxious “99 Problems” song. I didn’t see the guy running the soundboard, but had he been taken and scourged with multiple whips it would have been far too kind a fate for what he inflicted upon the crowd last night.
Two opening bands performed. Binary Code apparently had trouble with their van and couldn’t make it, which meant that Dissona came on to relieve us of the pain coming from the house speakers. Unfortunately, they delivered an entirely different sort of pain; a pain that continued for nearly a half an hour but didn’t feel a day over two centuries. The primary source of the pain came from the awkward and clearly serious intended gyrations and movements by what they passed off as a lead vocalist. What was meant to draw the audience in simply created laughter, and I certainly wasn’t the only one. His growled vocals were halfway decent, but he lamentably didn’t use them often. They were also in sore need of a bassist. According to their Facebook page they have one, but he was conspicuously and painfully absent last night. More’s the pity because music-wise they were actually pretty good.
After enduring more house music that made suicide a preferable option, Earthside arrived on to t
Finally Leprous hit the stage. The crowd was on the small side but more than made up for it with noise and enthusiasm. What followed was hands down the finest metal performance I’ve seen in a very long time. If they are playing near you, do whatever you have to do to be in attendance. Their sound and mix were spot on the entire night, the band were studio tight and highly engaging the entire time. They had unique and frequently hypnotic lighting, both in bars of light that highlighted each individual band member and the seizure-inducing strobe lights as well. There were also four TVs on stage playing video montages, similar to Earthside. The music was pretty much entirely drawn from their last two albums,‘Coal’ and the previously mentioned ‘The Congregation.’ They did close, however, with “Forced Entry” from their ‘Bilateral’ album. It was one of the two closing songs, along with “Rewind,” that let the screams from their early work out to play, and the crowd went ballistic for each.
It was simply an incredible and powerful performance and closed out a wonderful evening of prog-metal. This North American tour is just beginning, so there are a lot of dates left. Do yourself a favor and be at one of them.