So Portland has this Northwest Fest every year where a bunch of bands play at this actually decent venue downtown. This year Agalloch were playing day 2 and YOB and Ludicra were playing day 3. My girlfriend made several attemps to warn me that Agalloch are gay live but I didn't listen and dragged her along and paid $32 for the two of us to get in. Stupidity is expensive. I want my fuckin' money back. That show would have been a perfect place to try out an experimental nerve gas. Hipster douchebags and posers galore. It wasn't as bad as an Isis show, but it was in the same ballpark.
Now, I like Agalloch's albums. I'm a big fan of The Mantle in particular but I like the vast majority of Ashes Against The Grain and Pale Folklore. The clean vocals that add so much to Agalloch's atmosphere on record were an acquired taste for me but after a while, I couldn't imagine the band without them. Also that dissonant guitar tone heard on their albums that makes one think of a cold, rainy and bleak late autumn afternoon is a huge draw to the band for me. That was not present at all in the live setting. They sounded like just another band--until the clean vocals kicked in. Jesus fucking Christ I'd have rather heard Quorthon croon Home Of Once Brave with a .80 BAC after smoking 9 packs of cigarettes. The harsh vocals were ok but the clean vocals were absolutely awful. And according to a lot of spectators in the crowd, they sounded better than the last time they played. Holy shit. Another annoying factor of this show is the band's short-haired hipster bass player. I don't know if this guy tries to be awkward or if it just comes naturally. Either way he's an embarassment on stage if you ask me. Headbanging with short-hair should be illegal and subject to a medieval death penalty. Add to that he was jumping around on stage as if he were in AC/DC in front of 9,000 people in 1983 and lip syncing the lyrics as the singer belted them out. GAY. They also used way the hell too much fog. Half the time you could barely see the band. People pay for this on multiple occasions? You're joking right?
Fuck that band live. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
While you're at it, avoid Ludicrap until they get a vocalist that doesn't suck and write songs that are interesting.