Show Review: Film School @ The Parish (9/23)

The Parish played host to  Film School’s fifth stop on their tour in support of the album Fission.  Austin’s TV Torso and Monahans were brought in to open.  I was looking forward to this line up as a good match to the excellent sound and lighting at this venue.  Follow the jump for more and fancy photos.

I walked in on Monahans’ set in mid-swing.  They have a pleasing, familiar sound about them, something they call “Landscape Rock”.   It reminded me of the band Kashmir, one of my favorites from SxSW this year.  I caught the last four of a nine song set, highlights being “All in Love” and “Undiscovered”.   You can hit their Web Site at  for downloads of the once a month releases that started in March.  Can’t beat free…

Having recently seen TV Torso’s Matt Oliver in a solo performance to open the Love Language show last week, following up with a full band performance was a welcome and quick contrast to that low key, down tempo performance.  While I didn’t get a set list, it included the songs on last year’s Black Mask 7”, “Black Mask” and “Eye of the Pyramid”.  “Black Mask” plays into their strengths, while “Pyramid” was a little flat for me. Songs I recognized form the latest release Status Quo Vadis were “Slouch Hat City” and “Nobodies”, both solid.  When confronted by delays from a busted kick drum, Matt improv’ed a “song he hadn’t done with these guys.”  It sounded like something that immediately followed Sound Team’s demise.   Hard to scan releases for something that was broken down and rearranged on the fly; sorry I couldn’t pick it from the lineup.  It was fun for the audience though, and a proper warm up for the headliner in a couple of ways.

Being the fifth date of Film School’s tour, the band was still sorting out all the things that come with a long road trip.  There were a few technical glitches and jump starts, breaking the rhythm of the set, but it brought about interaction with the crowd and really gave you the impression that the band is enjoying being back on stage.  Following the show, I asked Greg Bertyns a simple question, “You guys have fun?” He replied, “Well yeah, did it look like it?”

The fourteen song set list seemed to run by quickly, despite the occasional troubleshooting.  They started off with “Still Might”, the bass line filling the room.  “Heart Full of Pentagons” was the follow-up and came across as the proper start to the show, the previous song to smoothly draw you in.  If you haven’t pulled this track down, yours for the price of an email address at their bandcamp site, do so.  The song  highlights a change in the band, Lorelei Plotczyk’s increasing vocal role.  “Waited” where Lorelei and Grag trade lead vocal, “When I’m Yours”,“Distant Life” and “Sunny Day” followed.  “Nothing’s Mine” and “Bones” finished the run of new songs from Fission.  My notes, respectively,for those two – “Jangly pretty song” and “Check it twice, good harmonies”.

Requests for “OLD SCHOOL FILM SCHOOL” were responded to with a reminder,“Next tour this new stuff will be the old stuff.”  The band launched into “Compare” and “Two Kinds”, songs from 2007’s Hideout.  The latter was one of the show highlights, Greg and Lorelei excellently harmonizing with the haunting keyboard fill from Jason Ruck.  “Meet Around 10” from Fission was next, shadowing the older tracks with new.

Greg was told the European acts don’t typically do an encore, “F*ck the Euorpeans, you’re getting an encore.”

“Breet”, from 2006’s self-titled release was first.   “Lectric” from Hideout finished the night, a favorite for me. The band was loose and enjoyed being up there.  So yes Greg, it looked and sounded like you were having fun.

Check out more photos on the photobriangray website.

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