Boolow, Totimoshi, Music Hates You, Clavius, Greevace
Aug. 26, 2011
The Deal: I have had the privilege of witnessing the progression and demise of Clavius throughout the years. What started as a project featuring some of our best local talent, gained a following quickly then dissipated just as fast, as one of their members, Jeff Wilkerson, moved away to pursue a degree in law. When Jeff would venture back to his hometown, reunions took place, allowing those of us who had them in our heart to re-experience the music missed immensely. While they played a few shows over the summer, alas, it was time for Jeff to leave again, forcing them to break up for good this time. There was not a chance in hell that I would miss their last show, especially considering they were playing with Greevace, Totimoshi, Boolow and Music Hates You, all bands that, too, I hold in high regard.
The Good: Greevace started the night out, playing to a small crowd primarily composed of the musicians who were playing the show. Their heavy sound immediately reminded me of early Tool, circa Undertow, with distorted guitars, heavy bass and consistently slamming drums. “God has seen fit to punish my vocals,” their vocalist confessed, as he had some sort of malady causing him stress as he attempted to sing. Despite his ill fortune, the songs he forced out of him were flawless, as he projected his voice with determination. Regardless of this setback, their mainly instrumental set impressed me beyond belief. Melodic scores between sludgy breakdowns led the way to musical enchantment even sans the deep vocal messages they typically bring to the plate. I cannot wait to see their traditional set because they are damn good even without their vocals.
Clavius played a short but astounding set that was certainly worthy of their send off. Jeff brought jokes and they all brought musical treats for our ears as we jammed out, melancholy that it would be the last time we heard them live. Pure nostalgia filled the room, overwhelming those who had never heard them before. Those of us that had been around since the beginning lost ourselves in the moment, reminiscing of the past and feeling the power of the present while those that were witnessing them for the first time shook their heads to the southern rock they were delivering in a sweet musical package. As expected, “There's a Snake in My Boot” brought their set to an intense climax, demonstrating their love for their composition and our love for them. I am sad to see them break up for good but in the words of a few great men, it's better to burn out than to fade away.
Although Music Hates You was terribly late for load in, they still managed to go on third. From Athens, Ga., they brought us their original hybrid of sludge, punk and good ole' rock 'n' roll. Heavy in parts, fast-paced in others, their music is catchy and virtually impossible not to rock out to. I've gotta say, they are one of the most powerful three pieces I have encountered, representing the true musical talent coming out of our neighbors to the south. Between natural guitar slides, perfectly-backed bass and drums, the perfectly-executed vocals are the cherry on top of this melodic sundae with southern flare. I realized mid-way through their set as my body uncontrollably danced to their jams, I want to steal them from Athens so we can hear them on the regular.
Totimoshi brought us their sounds from the west coast that I was excited to experience but in some regards felt as if it were a pseudo-event. I'm not saying they were bad by any means, just not what I had expected, even after researching them diligently beforehand. Their music has an interesting sound, a neat hybrid of experimental 1960s rock with the heaviness of contemporary sludge metal. They played for a surprisingly small crowd but gave it their all regardless, passionately projecting their sound throughout the room. Those that had stuck around for them crowded around the stage intensely rocking out in fits caused by the complexities they found within the scores. With layered greatness and respectable composition, they impressed me but I wish everyone hadn't talked them up so assiduously before the show so I could've experienced them with a clean slate and no expectations.
As Jonathan said, “I'm pretty sure these guys are too drunk to play,” Shelby, N.C.'s Boolow began a killer set. “We're used to playing first, so you can imagine how drunk we are now,” they proclaimed. However, they may have been trashed but they still kept it strong, not playing nearly as sloppy as you would expect in complete inebriation. Full of hilariousness, everyone began picking on each other while rocking out to the sick, heavy goodness. Nate Wilkinson began flicking matches at them and we all participated in the rambunctiousness, feeding off of the drunkenness. Hat pulled over his eyes, Jason wavered back and forth, as they jammed the night away, an informal but fantastic cap to an amazing night. I've gotta say, Boolow holds it down, whether playing first or last (or horribly drunk).
The Bad: Other than my personal qualms with my Totimoshi experience, it was an amazing night filled of people partying down and enjoying what was happening. These are my favorite kinds of nights at the Milestone.
The Verdict: Although I am sad to see Clavius finally call it quits, I am immensely thankful that I got to be there for their last show. I couldn't have asked for a better line-up, bringing in bands from further south and all the way out to the west coast to our outside neighbors, Shelby. It was a delightful amalgamation of talent and celebration that I will never forget. Goodbye Clavius, thank you for existing for the couple years you graced the world with your presence.