The Stained Glass Perspective at Tulagi in Boulder, CO 4/18/03
On Friday the 18th of April, I made the wise decision to see The Stained Glass Perspective live at Tulagis. Four talented musicians local to Boulder, Colorado, The Stained Glass Perspective has a compelling style of music that nicely mixes melodic catchy rock with heavy, raw aggressive rock. For the helpful purpose of pigeonholing, I suppose you could call it melodic, heavy rock. To create an even longer neologism, I suppose you could add the prefixes emo, punk, and so on. It doesnt really matter. The point is that The SGP play energetic music that, for all its dynamics and power, is amazingly catchy and enjoyable to anyone who likes good rock music.
The set at Tulagis included about an hour of original material quite impressive for a band that hasnt yet made an album. The more impressive feat is that many of these songs are vibrant examples of good songwriting. At one level, there are the super-catchy hooks that Ive mentioned. In the Red had one of these super-catchy sections as soon as the song started, and the hooks were ever-present throughout the song. Along with great hooks, The SGP excelled at creating drama in their songs. The songs usually started off soft and melodic and built to the point where the guitarists stomped on their distortion pedals and rocked out. The tricky part is not just stomping the distortion pedal, but rather creating the perfect kind of tension where the heavy parts become a welcome release.
More than just being practitioners of buildup, The SGP utilizes dynamics in their songs that really place them musically beyond most new bands these days. On Distance the World, the happy sing-songy verse gave way to a dark instrumental section that concluded the song. Such a passage is the kind of thing you never hear from bands that need to use mindless chord-progressions to cover up the fact that they are bad songwriters who are afraid to let their instruments do some of the talking. With The SGP, I completely dig how their deviations from traditional song structure complement the great hooks. They arent afraid to be adventurous, and yet it never comes across as awkward or misplaced.
As far as the live experience itself was concerned, the concert had a great atmosphere. The crowd was into the music, singing along and starting the occasional gentle mosh pit (the kind that is an expression of being into the music and not merely wanting to bash peoples faces in). The band certainly helped to create this atmosphere. Their bassist happily danced around the stage adorned in black body paint, and one of their guitarists even jumped into the crowd in the midst of his playing. The SGP obviously enjoyed playing their music, and their enthusiasm shined throughout their set. All in all, The Stained Glass Perspective is a promising band on many, many levels. Their quality live show is just a reflection of the energy and originality of their music. I really hope that when these guys make a record, it sells a ton of copies.
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