Live review: Emotron, The Have and the Have Nots, Mortal Man, Music Hates You

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Emotron, The Have and the Have Nots, Mortal Man, Music Hates You

The Milestone

Feb. 3, 2011

The Deal: Some of my most noteworthy musical experiences have been at Milestone shows with regionally touring bands. I have discovered some of my favorite music that I would've never known of by taking a risk and going out to a show that I know nothing or little about. Thursday, February 3 one of my favorite acts (discovered in this manner) The Emotron, was coming through from the Atlanta area and playing with the Charlotte-native, The Have and the Have Nots, Mortal Man (Wilmington) and Music Hates You (Athens, Ga.). I couldn't miss the opportunity to see such an eclectic array of regional music in the same night and indulge in the talent coming from surrounding areas.

The Good: Mortal Man took the stage first and although I hadn't seen them before, I must say I was impressed by the band's set. Throughout its performance, the two well-layered guitars carried catchy tunes to the effect of Dungeons and Dragons. Combined with heavy and well-blended breakdowns, the band intrigued the crowd creating smilers and head nodders alike. While the singer carried a style reminiscent of early 90s rock, the band had versatile changes in time signatures creating an effect similar to that of Mars Volta with Eddie Vedder as lead. Definitely an interesting combination.

Next up was The Have and the Have Nots, who in my opinion, you can never go wrong with. Watching a two-piece jam out to the extent they do, with the connection they have is priceless. Jessica's foot tapping drum beats and Ben's beautifully shrill indie-punk vocals and screaming guitar lines go together better than spaghetti and meatballs. Listening to them makes you reminisce on the good in life. The energy they put off is amazing and by the end of the set you cannot help but have a Cheshire Cat grin across your face.

You can always tell the Emotron is up next when TVs and other random props are being carried to the stage. He inevitably has a fascinating and magical performance that leaves you giggling at the lyrics and uncontrollably shaking your hips to the beat. From the early days when he lit his dick on fire at the end of every set, to his more contemporary sci-fi inspired performance, sans-nudity, I have seldom been disappointed by him. His newest setup encompasses an upside-down cross composed of VHS wielding and somewhat broken television sets. Paired with intriguingly bizarre make-up and a homemade tumor ridden suit composed of panty hose and random stuffings, it is impossible to look away. Amidst the televisions and garbed in this attire, he sang his heart out, captivating the crowd with his bellowing voice and a newly re-worked version of his song “Busted.” I think we all could've listened to him all night long — Lionel Richie style.

Music Hates You capped the night off with their head-rocking, heel stomping moderately hard indie-punk. They instantaneously got the crowd shaking with their melodies reminiscent of '80s punk rock with more intricate and harder drumming. They are a prime example of the quality music coming out of our neighbor, Athens, Ga. The crowd became a haze of head swinging punk rockers but unlike most bands of their genre, didn't get rowdy enough to cause trouble. A great ending to a great night.

The Bad: This was an awesome show and I enjoyed every minute of it. However, the turn out was much smaller than it deserved. I suppose it could've been the crappy weather or the lack of knowledge of these stellar acts, but the door count couldn't have been over 30 or so. More people showing up allows for more enjoyable chaos and despite that the crowd and musicians held that down, it certainly could've been intensified.

The Verdict: If you ever get the opportunity to see any of these bands I would certainly recommend seizing the night and taking a journey into musical bliss. Although it may be hard to catch Mortal Man or Music Hates You, seeing as they are on tour, The Have and the Have Nots play regularly around town and the Emotron seem to love Charlotte enough to make it a priority to perform here on a regular basis. Come out next time, raise the intensity of the awesomeness and experience the talent that surrounds us — locally and regionally, I highly doubt you will leave unsatisfied.


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