I walked into the arena area at Beck’s Music Box while the Cut and Paste DJ’s were building a mood and VJ Lynch was taking the night’s theme “aggressively happy” and bombarding a huge screen with loops of animals in wrestling masks and other extraordinary sequences that left my brain feeling stretched and re-sampled.
Some hipsters were complaining that the crowd wasn’t as big as they thought should be there. I wanted to agree but only a bit as part of the satisfaction of being hip is being ahead of that all important curve: The one that let’s you give up and start hating on bands, styles, haircuts as soon as they achieve a certain level of popularity and these HEALTH kids are really cool right now.
Then HEALTH arrived with an intensity that the audience’s anticipation couldn’t quite match. At the start of every gig the crowd always presses toward the stage, this is arguably the first time I’ve seen a band push back, just with sheer force of sound. The very first notes spat into Beck’s Music box, white hot with purpose.
It wasn’t a long set, barely an hour. So what? I wouldn’t want to be in a cage fight that went too long either and that’s the level of energy it takes to both play and watch HEALTH. Every beat, screech, wail, shriek and tone eviscerating the warm night as precisely as Jack the Ripper might have plied his trade in a London backstreet.
Now as a member of the Cut and Paste team I can not offer any unbiased commentary on the support acts, but I do want to talk up The Epic of Gilgamesh who were a gigantic muscle bound professional wrestler of a band. Massively theatrical, and sonically satisfying – who can argue with a band that puts ten drummers in the audience! While The Transients were on the main stage out in the bar area, where many people were taking a break after HEALTH, Dub Get Dirty a PaperChain/The Community project were giving us a totally lovely take on a lounge set filled with low key beats and word treats.