atm-so402

Edmonton’s own Shout Out Out Out Out had their second show here last night, after quickly selling out their first followed by a huge demand for a second, for the release of their second LP called Reintegration Time being released by Nrmls Wlcm Records TOMORROW March 3rd which you can buy here.

I actually didn’t know about the added show until a friend told me (thanks Derek!) and quickly snapped up a ticket. I’ve heard such great things through and through about SO4 ever since they first released Not Saying/Just Saying back in 2006. I’ve heard how crazy their live shows are and how SO4 are the epitome of neurotic dance music, inducing major epileptic dance seizures from most of their fans. Despite having their music on my media player, I never got around to listening to them but, going to a live show usually proves to be better than the LPs themselves and are strong indicators of how great artists really are. And so, I geared up and headed on over to the Starlite Room–IMO the best venue in Edmonton–in anticipation of sweating off 70% of my body water.

atm-so4
*a picture of SO4’s show a year ago at the Starlite

Live in Concert: Shout Out Out Out Out
@ The Starlite Room (Edmonton)

I arrived and the usual Starlite openers for electronic acts, the ALLOUTDJS, were spinning their dope beats. Unfortunately no one was dancing on the floor except for this one girl who had wikkid moves and put on a show for everyone. Whether we realized it or not but all of a sudden a circle formed around her, as if we were part of some kind of tribal ritual. She went so hard that she had to take breaks in between her spurts of hardcore on the spot choreographed dancing, like a sprinter would. We admired her. She was our hero. Inspired, we joined her on the dance floor, pouring all our energies into the arteries and veins fueling our limbs and toes and fingertips to jive with the sanguine beats of “D.A.N.C.E.” Eventually people got less shy like they do when someone fills the empty hole on the dance floor and joined us, though in a less enthusiastic manner. Yeah, we started the party riiiight. We got drunk and freaky flyyyyy. Then we were spent. So spent. Dancing is HARD WORK. But yeah, people thought we were professional dancers we were that good. I’m just not gonna lie about it. For srs.

SO4 was already 30 minutes late and was running close to being an hour overdue before this weird circus like announcement of SO4’s coming presence to the stage nudged us all towards the dance floor.

Nik Kozub (vocals, everything else but drums) welcomed us with, “thanks for coming  Edmonton! We LOVE YOU!…implicitly!” This made me laugh. After my short chuckle I noticed how ridiculous their stage set up was. Two drum sets on top right manned by Clint Frazier and Gravy. A mountain, well, a horizontal mountain, of synthesizers and samplers manned by Kozub, Jason Troock, Will Zimmerman, and Lyle Bell. All of whom also play the guitar or bass. Wow. Right off the bat they started with an electro dance rock number, a style signature to SO4, with such 8.0 Richter scale bass that traveled under the floor up through my feet ectopically inducing grumbles from my stomach. Combined with the bass going into my ears down through the whole of my body locking my spine, I became vulnerable and obedient to the rhythms that SO4 designated for my body.

I was so impressed, especially not having heard any of their stuff before except for a quick 30 minute visit to their myspace the morning of. Great transitions into different songs and most importantly, such a wonderful chemistry on stage! Everyone had little bits of synchronicity with each minute. When not at the synthesizers, the four guitar/bass players would move their instruments and bodies in sync with each other, choreographing moments to jump together, rock together, move together, things you’d only see at metal shows like Unearth (i.e. jumping off speakers with guitar in air and landing with a big thump at the same time, not as extreme in SO4’s case but you get the point). For me, the stars of the show were the drummers. Hands down no questions about it. Two magnificent drum sets side by side elevated above everyone else provided the explicit backbone to SO4’s punk rock sound within the sea of samplers, vocoders, and synthesizers manned by the others. Gravy and Frazier not only were in sync with their drumming (obviously) but put on a TOTAL SHOW outside of everyone else below! At many points they would drum with one arm, while the complimentary left of one and right of the other would form a cross, held up for the crowd to see as a sign of unity, of fucking rocking out, of being amazing and havin’ a good time!!! During pauses in between beats they’d throw up their sticks! twirl them! and do other fancy tricks! Such showmanship and the constant exchange between Gravy and Frazier was a delight to watch and truthfully, they occupied my visuals for most of the show.

The only problem I had with this set was how LOUD it was. Like WOW. I know it’s such a silly thing to complain about a concert being “too” loud because well, it just is. But my ears were severely in pain half way through and I noticed a lot of other people had to start plugging their ears as well. I dunno if this was just on the Starlite’s part to control the amps but you gotta adjust that when you know it’s a band like SO4 coming to play where such crazy bass and deep synths will make such a small venue that much more of an insulator and amplifier for sound to be even greater than projected to be and necessarily should be. But this is just me. I should really start wearing earplugs…eh, this is a topic for another post.

Overall, a great show, though I did look at the time 20-30 minutes before the show ended (including the encore) indicating the the show was really losing it’s edge for me. I think it was a combination of my ears being in mucho pain and plus the song selection was losing it’s touch…it started to sound very much the same over the course of the show. However, I did very much like a few songs and remember them quite well and located them on my computer and have decided to share with you! One in particular “Guilt Trips Sink Ships”, started off with the snap, snap snap, snap snap, of fingers and grew into this wonderful wave of synth harmonies, a great keyboard bit, and of course ridiculous drumming. It was my favorite performance of the night.

Sorry I don’t have the set list but will try to get it and will make an edit when I do so!

Did you go to this show? What did you think? Have you been to SO4’s shows before? What are your thoughts on their music and live performances?

MP3 from Reintegration Time: Shout Out Out Out Out – Guilt Trips Sink Ships
MP3 from Not Saying/Just Saying: Shout Out Out Out Out – Dude You Feel Electrical

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