Voices Of The Underground2 Pt.4


Voices Of The Underground is a series that seeks to explore one question from many different angles. Every week, we will ask one question of many of your favorite music artists. We will post their responses below, and what you will find is that there is never truly one answer to every question, but instead a whole world of ideas that come from simple matters of taste, to deep held beliefs. Our hope is that through this series you are able to see past the promo pictures and the stage persona, and get to know the hearts of believers who are creating music every day.

Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1-What do you love about music?
Read Pt.2- What was your first musical experience?
Read Pt.3-What is your favorite/ultimate song?

It did not seem like I could ask about people’s favorite song without also asking about live music. If you are not a big concert goer, I implore you to change your ways. I have discovered that they songs themselves are only half the story, and the WAY they are played really brings out different aspects of songs you can never capture in a recording. For myself (Chuck, I am expecting you to answer this one because I know you have a million concerts to choose from) this is a hard one to narrow down. I have seen Smashing Pumpkins on their Mellon Collie….tour, Zao right before the release of Liberete…, and I even got to see MC Hammer on the 2 Legit 2 Quit tour (with Boyz 2 Men and TLC none the less). For me though it comes down between mewithoutYou at Cornerstone 07, and Wovenhand at SXSW 09. Both shows really left me speechless, and I would recommend both bands to anybody wanting to see shows that will change something in you. Enough about me, let’s see what everybody else has to say.

Joining us this week is Mark, guitar player and singer from Tooth & Nail Records newcomers The Letter Black. The band has a new EP, entitled Breaking The Silence, due out at the end of the month, so get ready for their brutal hard rock to come in and knock yer socks off.

What is the best live show you ever seen?

I saw Grizzly Bear at SXSW 09 in an old stone church with huge vaulted ceilings. The perfect setting to listen to their music to, I think. It really was amazing!

Michael W. Smith, with DC Talk opening. So awesome. I was 12, maybe? I still know so many of Toby Mac’s raps. My husband gets embarrassed by it, but I’ll totally rap…no, I think “repeat” is a more accurate term…anyways, if the party gets boring, then I get rap-repeating.

the letter black mark copy
Kiss. (I) was about 14 years old and it was for their reunion tour when they put the make up back on. It was in the civic arena in Pittsburgh. It was the loudest and wildest show because of all the pyrotechnics and make up, and the stage moved, Gene Simmons flew above the crowd.

I had seen them before, but I went to see Thrice on their tour for Vheissu in Seattle in 2005. It was at this rad venue by the waterfront called the Showbox and I drove down from where I was going to college at the time to catch the show. Vedera, The Bled, and Underoath opened the show, and were all good, but Thrice was an entirely different element, that was the first album and tour where they started drastically experimenting with different instruments, tunings, and styles. It left a big impression on me and I felt that as they were maturing beyond their earlier records, which I was in love with, I was maturing right along with them.

R.A.T.M. at the Air Canada Center in Toronto when I was 20.

I don’t know. I recently saw a radical show featuring two guys from L.A. named (1) Dorian Wood and (2) Mooey Moobau a couple months ago. It was powerfully interesting.

Best live show I’ve ever seen would have to be Justin Timberlake. It was in South Florida with The Black Eyed Peas. I was like 19 i think. He just knew how to put on a show.
But on a more important tip, any show I’ve ever seen by Ascend the Hill. They are on Come&Live! Records and those dudes bring me to the throne of God every time I see them.

I’ll have to give two… one from a good number of years ago and one more recently:

1. Growing up in Southwest Florida, I ventured to a small record store called 403 Chaos in Tampa a number of times for shows during my later high school and early college years. One of the most intense (and eclectic) shows I ever saw featured Assuck, Hot Water Music, Frodus, and Darkest Hour. Just a few highlights of the evening include: Frodus‘ bassist breaking his E string on the first part of the first song of their set (“Invisible Time Lines”), every single person in attendance (or what seemed like it) singing along to Hot Water Music and them bringing at least a few people to tears, and literally people flying through the air during Assuck‘s set. I’m sure my memory of the evening has built it beyond what really happened, but I trust it was something close nevertheless.

2. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Burning Fight Festival in Chicago in May. Among those who played were Unbroken (!!!), Have Heart, Betrayed, Indecision (!!!), Split Lip (who did an Operation Ivy cover)… and TRIAL!. While people who weren’t entirely wrapped in the moment have said they played sloppy and didn’t sound great, the experience of being among 800-1000 hardcore kids all singing along to a band in unison was something I’ll never forget.

As a matter of fact, I would say Death Cab For Cutie. It was why they became my favorite band. I was 16 and I drove up to Las Vegas to see the show. The entire time I felt as if I was intoxicated. The show was amazing! They are such good musicians and put on a great show.

Nine Inch Nails Downward Spiral Tour–I don’t even remember the city or how old I was. It was an incredible performance and was a huge influence musically both in my life then and today. The Rob Zombie/Korn Tour around the same time, for the same reasons and The Black Sabbath Reunion Tour at Ozzfest–getting to see Slipknot, Pantera, System Of A Down….just the opportunity to see all these bands all in one place and to see the band that started it all (Black Sabbath). Epic.

Norma Jean/Underoath/Beloved/Dead Poetic/Haste The Day I think I was 15 it was in Fort Smith, Arkansas it was just the craziest show I’ve ever seen and it was before any of those bands were huge so it was pretty special to be apart of.

Its hard to say. I saw Coldplay in a huge amphitheater and it brought tears to my eyes, but I also went to a crappy house show and saw Lightning Bolt play and I will never for get it. There completely different experiences but they both equally changed my life. With all that being said, I would say seeing Sigur Ros play last year was one of my favorite shows. They played so many different instruments and their music is so overwhelmingly intense yet peaceful.

Its hard to pick a best show. I have seen a ton of amazing bands play before. If I had to pick, I would say that my favorite show was Comeback Kid at the Triple Rock in Minneapolis for Kevin’s last show for them as their bassist. They were flawless live, sounded better than the CD. Pretty much blew me away. Solidarity also played that night.

I don’t even know how to answer this one. I’m gonna say My Morning Jacket.
They played for almost 3 hours with no opening band. The House of Blues (Orlando) was sold out, and I bought the tickets off of a scalper for almost 3x’s the price. I can’t even begin to describe it, it was just incredible. Still one of the greatest nights I can remember hands down.

I’d probably have to say Sufjan Stevens at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage in Washington DC. It was in February of 2007 and I was 21. It was just awesome. I’m a huge Sufjan fan. The theater was completely sold out and I had a front row ticket. He was performing that night with a portion of the National Symphony Orchestra. It was more magical than Disney World, I can tell you that much.

Dude–some of those old Five Iron Frenzy and Supertones shows I have very fond memories of… They were some of my earliest concert going experiences – and I just remember them being a blast – I was probably 16-17 at that point… Saw My Chemical Romance about 2 years ago and it was a PHENOMENAL show… But absolutely probably THE most memorable show for me was Andrew WK at Furnace Fest in Birmingham, AL in 2002. There were so many kids up on stage – he had kids up on his back – it was a straight up out of control party. Unbelievable…

James Taylor in Little Rock, AR. I think I was about 20. It was very raw, very scaled back. I don’t remember a lot of bells and whistles…really, just him on a stool and his acoustic guitar. However, he managed to captivate the thousands in the arena. It felt so personal, like he was just serenading me. He’s such an amazing musician and I felt like he invited each of us into his life for that moment.


  1. [...] Read Pt.2- What was your first musical experience? Read Pt.3-What is your favorite/ultimate song? Read Pt.4-What is the best live show you have ever seen? Read Pt.5-If you hadn’t gotten into music, what would see yourself doing as a job? Read Pt.6-Who [...]

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