Sunn O))) (Taken with Instagram)
I saw Sunn O))) at The Power of the Riff, Sunday 9/2/12 at the Warsaw in Greenpoint.
Loudest show I’ve ever been to. My buddy got me ear plugs which I wasn’t planning on using during the show. I’m glad he brought them. I probably would have been OK without them, but with the plugs I wasn’t worrying for my health and could relax. I listened to parts of the show without them, and it’s the higher frequencies that you’re missing, which really isn’t the focal point of Sunn’s music, though they do add to the overall experience, i.e. “Maximum volume equals maximum results,” Sunn’s maxim.
It was the most ridiculous show I’ve ever been to. How could it not be? The band is dressed in robes, the place was completely engulfed in smoke - you couldn’t see anything on the stage for most of the show. After about 40 minutes of massive chords played on two guitars, a lone figure appeared - the singer, presumably Attila Csihar (I’d never know based solely on attending the show) - and he did his thing center stage, croaking and howling into the mic, raising his fist to the sky. Occasionally you’d see Greg Anderson or Stephen O’Malley (the members of Sunn O))) proper) appear stage left or right before disappearing back into the smoke.
Did I enjoy it? Been asking myself that question since the show. I have to say that Yes, I did, but usually I enjoy a concert because of the immediate joy it brings. Getting pummeled by sound waves - literally pummeled, I tell you - for an hour and half straight by long, deep, droning guitar chords is not exactly enjoyable in the moment. It was trying at times, to my body and my patience But looking back on the experience - it’s an event. When the band finished up, the crowd erupted, praising them as gods or priests after a mass. I’d go again. A concert like no other. Not that I felt any real religious ecstasy or anything like that, but that would be the closest feeling I got of the concert itself. Paying homage to the almighty riff. Paying homage to the glory of massive sound.