Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Black Mountain

Black Mountain joined onstage by Ladyhawk and Blood Meridian

On the first night of their current headlining tour, Black Mountain expressed a little annoyance that their former tourmates, Coldplay, decided to schedule a show on the same night…right across the street.

Yeah, it did seem a bit inconsiderate of Coldplay’s management, but I don’t think Black Mountain had anything to worry about. It’s not like fans were asked to choose between Coldplay and Travis. I have a feeling that, even after their recent tour together, Coldplay’s fanbase remained quite distinct from Black Mountain’s. The crowd packed in the Target Center on Tuesday (9-20-2005) most likely consisted of desperate housewives and high school students on the verge of discovering indie rock. The “crowd” loosely populating the Entry, on the other hand, consisted mainly of…well, drunks.

Seriously, I hadn’t seen that level of debauchery in the Entry in a long time…on a Tuesday night, no less. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the majority of Vancouver’s stoner rock scene was packed into the same room (marijuana is a gateway to alcohol, you know). Or maybe people were just following the lead of opening band, Ladyhawk. By the end of Ladyhawk’s set, their singer couldn’t even stand up (although, he didn’t miss a note on his guitar). He settled down a little afterwards, however, when he took a nasty spill off a skateboard. Ouch.

Blood Meridian, the main project of Matt Camirand (bassist from Black Mountain), was slightly more sober. As you may remember, Matt Camirand was the guy who made himself known to the world at large in front of a sold-out arena in Hartford, Connecticut. It was Black Mountain’s first scheduled appearance with Coldplay, and Stephen McBean (singer/songwriter for Black Mountain) was held up at the border by those pesky US immigration agents. The rest of the band was allowed to enter, but the incident had made them a little crunched for time. As showtime drew near, the band (sans McBean) got stuck in traffic as they approached the arena. At the last minute, Matt Camirand grabbed an acoustic guitar, stepped out of the van, and ran through traffic to the arena. When he arrived, a security guard escorted him directly to the stage, and he treated the masses to a 20-minute set of solo Blood Meridian songs. As for the Coldplay fans who were unaware of what was going on, I can only imagine that they were turning to their friends in confusion and twisting their hands upward in the what-the-fuck-is-this gesture. I’m sure it was totally worth it for Matt Camirand, though. This is a story he’ll tell over and over to his grandchildren.

At the Entry, however, Blood Meridian was not out of place, and Matt Camirand was backed by a full band. Their laid-back countrified rock was a welcome interlude between the sludgy stoner rock of Ladyhawk and Black Mountain. One last thing about Blood Meridian…they have perhaps the most disturbing Myspace biography I’ve ever read. I’d like to share it with you:

in high school i killed a horse with my father's car. that night i dreamt the horse was jumping above my head from bedpost to bedpost screaming and bucking. It had crazed blood shot eyes and the hands of a man.

Unfortunately, during Black Mountain’s set, half of my attention was devoted to preventing the drunks from stumbling on me. Black Mountain seemed to have fun with it, though. They continually invited audience members to accompany them onstage – audience members who were too drunk to keep a simple beat with a tambourine. The band themselves were very tight. I thought Amber Webber’s vibrato backup vocals were very effective, and Stephen McBean had perfect control over his split personalities (his other personality is represented in his solo project, Pink Mountaintops). To close their set, Black Mountain was joined onstage by Ladyhawk, Blood Meridian, and various audience members for a chaotic rendition of their college radio hit, “No Satisfaction.” Quite the grand finale.


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