Live at The Joint
Los Angeles, CA 10/09/2008
Review by Travis Baumann
I:Scintilla is the opening band for the Cruxshadows and Ayria tour but for this Los Angeles show, local residents, Gentleman Junkie played first so I:Scintilla were the second band to go on for the night.
Due to problems with the originally planned venue, Safari Sams, last minute arrangements were made for the show to be put on at "The Joint" in the Los Angeles area. As the band can attest the evening was plagued with problems from the start.
The stage was very small for a band consisting of a live drummer, his kit taking up the entire rear of the stage, a guitarist and a live synth player. The lead singer wanted to move around a lot and kept running into other members and obviously felt constrained.
Sound problems were a major issue of the night and as the band started, only the vocals could be heard with some muffled live drums as everything else had been knocked out. Finally the sound engineer for the place got the other instruments on and the set began again from the beginning. The band handled it really well and laughed it off but it was a bit disconcerting for them as well as the audience.
The lighting was minimal in terms of stage ambiance and the limited lighting the club did have just kept roving over the band way too fast to see much of anything and grew really annoying. It would have been nice to have a bit slower paced, less frantic lighting that enhanced the music and the band rather than take away from it.
By far the worst problem of the entire event was that there was no air flow. It grew to nearly a hundred degrees in there just during the opening band and by the time these guys went on it was nearly unbearable . Everyone on stage and in the audience was dripping sweat and the band commented on it multiple times.
I had heard of I:Scintilla a few times before but this was the first time actually really hearing them other than a quick listen on their Myspace page earlier in the day. It is hard to draw comparisons to them as they have a mixture of styles found within the Industrial Gothic genre.
There is a heavy dosage of elecronics that underlie and make-up the basis of each song. On top of that there are live drums and a live guitar that while heavy, does not overpower the mix.
Hailing from Chicago, they have a slightly Coldwave or Darkwave take on things musically but with the vocals being taken into account, they don't fully fall into this realm either.
I don't want to come off as harsh but I didn't entirely care for the vocals at times. I know the sound system was poor but at moments I was nearly cringing as the lead vocalist was wailing out of key.
When she first came out, she sang solo without any additional instruments which sounded good. When everything got going on that small stage and she started caterwauling, it got a little difficult at times.
I definitely do not think they are a lost cause and with an appropriate venue, proper sound system and sound check and everything in order I bet they would sound a lot better.
I am interested in hearing more from them and I bet after this tour is done, they will have grown quite a bit as musicians and especially able to deal with crappy venues and last minute venue changes. They said this was their first time in Los Angeles or California for that matter so hopefully the rest of the tour treats them better than this show and if they come back, maybe we can as well.
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