Shaking off the rust

Lumiere @ Traffic Bar, Naucalpan, México.

After a less than stellar night in a house party (more of a case of “wrong band for the wrong audience”), Lumiere played at the garage-like Traffic Bar in Los Remedios, deep in the wild (!) heart of Naucalpan.

Kicking off with ‘Vertex’ (one of their heaviest numbers), the band made some heads turn in the bar. After a brief introduction of the band, the mood changed into a more introspective light, with ‘Elefante’ (a song that I like, but I’m too biased to make a proper judgement of it) and then going back into heavy territory with ‘Cardiazol’ (from their previous EP, Fatalismo).

Three songs in and a bit of feedback (that kept plaguing the set for a while) came haunting between song and song, but never too bad to bring down the whole proceedings. Add to that a few errors in playing (which are understandable due to the long time between gigs) and it might have been a bad gig, but the band did muscled in, keeping a good face and a good energy going on. Interacting with the public with their usual droll humour helped a lot too.

Good thing about the whole thing is that finally the voice came through properly. A problem that Lumiere had with most venues and their sound was getting the voice right, as it most of the times was drowned into the wall of noise that is their three guitar attack. Perhaps hooking up the vocals to a powerful PA and lowering the guitar volumes a bit is what they really need to let their message pass through without any garbling.

Sure, mistakes were made in all fronts, but it has been a very long while since they played live and in electric form (they’ve spent most of 2010 recording their new album). It’s the first time I see them live in almost two years and there’s been quite a bit of improvements done (like the rock poses that the band now do).

Part of that good energy was done with a quick tribute to their older stuff (released under the La luz de San Telmo banner) with an acoustic, intimate version of ‘Dos’ (arguably the best hit from the Dos album. Arguably). A cover of a cover (a rendition of Failure’s ‘Enjoy the silence’ cover) was good, even if again some pesky problems pestered it.

Gotta say that out of all the new songs that are being roadtested, ‘Géminis’ is the more interesting one, going for a creeping atmosphere that inevitably yields a noise tirade. Probably the more experimental of the new lot and can’t wait for the studio version. From this new lot of songs, ‘Almadoble’ seems to be the more radio-friendly one, with its memorable hook and mellow rhythm, certainly Lumiere at its poppiest.

Closing the set were the utterly depressing ‘El encuentro’ and a revamped version of ‘Gragrofe’ (also from the previous EP). The air was chock full of melancholy, but it was a good time and even a fan made a bit of art inspired by the band.

—Sam

Setlist

– Vertex
– Elefante
– Cardiazol
– Marla
– Géminis
– Almadoble
– Cíclope
– Enjoy the Silence
– Tu, yo y los demás
– Dos
– Escila
– El Iluminador
– El Encuentro
– Gragrofe

If this gig was a David Bowie song: I’m afraid of Gragrofes.

Links:

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