Final Fantasy does Denton
On November 2, Canadian acts Cadence Weapon and Final Fantasy played a show many people have mixed feelings about including myself. The first act shall now and forever remain nameless because it was this act that inspired nothing but drunken frustration. Basically, the act consisted of a solo singer/songwriter singing a Dave Matthews style song and just when the audience thinks the first song is over, he samples the chord progression in his laptop and adds layers that could have easily been created by a four-year-old using Garage Band. After about forty-five minutes of this earshattering mess, it all stops and the crowd has a chance to regroup and gather their thoughts.
After reading reviews about the Canadian rap duo, Cadence Weapon, I expected something catchy, witty, and maybe some form of intelligence attached to the rhymes. Apparently that was the alcohol doing the reasoning for me. Cadence Weapon actually sounded like an angry teenager rapping about his parents in a neighbor kid's garage. To accompany such an uninspired, meaningless act was his DJ whose scratching skills at best sounded like a needle of a record player slipping off track. This clumsy attempt at scratching mixed with angst ridden rhymes rivaled the first act in causing the audience to drink as much as possible to relieve the pain from it all.
After feeling aurally violated on many different levels (and quite intoxicated), to everyones relief Final Fantasy took the stage. Perhaps the general knowledge that Owen Pallet plays with Arcade Fire from time to time influenced this bias, but from the moment his bow made contact with the strings of his violin, the audience was captivated. While everyone stood still, mesmerized, the only sound issued from the crowd was that of people singing along. Visually, Owen Pallet's performance is dramatic in its own right in the way he plays into a sampler, then sings, and plays a countermelody on top of the original sample. Watching him stop playing and hearing the violin continuing to sound while Pallet's smooth baritone carries over it all is a unique experience in itself.
He also had someone using an overhead projector to place transparency pictures up to tell a story while he was playing the music. Honestly, the performance could have done without the overhead because it didn't serve any real artistic relevance. Highlights of the Final Fantasy set were 'This is the Dream of Win and Reg' and Pallet's cover of 'This Modern Love' by Bloc Party. To further credit this experience, Pallet single handedly made suffering through the first two bands completely worth it.
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