Mono DVD Holy Ground: NYC Live With The Wordless Music Orchestra - Idol Threat: Warning Shots at the Mainstream


Friday, March 12, 2010

Mono DVD Holy Ground: NYC Live With The Wordless Music Orchestra


These were the words on the wall that seemed to hover luminously behind Mono and the full orchestra that backed them for their 10th Anniversary show at the New York Society For Ethical Culture on Friday 5/8/09. These were fitting words to hang behind this performance; the Japanese Post Rock Quartet’s instrumental music has been known to be both powerful and spiritual to its audience. A description of their album "You Are There" read that “They're not heavy like Black Sabbath - they're heavy like Beethoven,” so to hear their already lush music backed by a 24 piece orchestra would be the 'highest' way to experience Mono.

The whole night was charged with a hauntingly beautiful anticipation that filled the air with the promise of what was to come.
I flew from Chicago to see Mono’s anniversary show in New York, and while I was waiting in line for hours to get in I found that I wasn’t the only one who traveled to see this once in a lifetime show. People came from all over the US and the world, I met one guy in particular who came from Australia. There were even a few “celebrities” in the mix including Jeremy, the head honcho of Temporary Residence (Mono’s US label) and Manuf Rayani the guitarist from label-mates Explosions in the Sky.

Their last album “Hymn to the Immortal Wind” was a collaboration with a full orchestra, and they have worked with strings before (for their vinyl 10” release Memorie Dal Futuro) but tonight would be the first time that Mono would play with a full orchestra for a live concert. Jeff Milarsky and the Wordless Music Orchestra opened the night as the audience patiently waited for Mono to join them. When they finally took the stage the respectful audience gave out a subdued cheer (they were instructed to hold all applause until after the performance) as the band settled into their trademark positions. Guitarists Taka and Yoda were seated on opposite sides of a standing Tamaki, who started on the vibes while facing drummer Yasunori Takada before taking her familiar stance by turning to the audience face down, swaying in rhythm with her bass. The somber bassist would hold her position throughout the night, changing only to turn and play the vibes or sit to the side to play piano.

To see Mono live is difficult enough to put into words, but to see and hear Mono with a full 24 piece orchestra behind them was indescribable. This army of sound was a sight to behold and an indelible experience. The entire night was only marred by one drunken patron who refused to sit in the seats and was distracting audience members. He was quickly dispatched by a bold volunteer who took him outside by the neck. The incredible performance was followed by another the next night at Le Poisson Rouge, a smaller standing room only venue that was still able to accommodate the full orchestra.

“Holy Ground” is the DVD of that performance being released with the live CD by Temporary Residence, so I’ll let their press release explain the rest:

"The moment has finally come! The infamous once-in-a-lifetime NYC concerts featuring MONO backed by a 24-piece orchestra were gloriously captured on both audio and video for all to enjoy. Now you can either relive that amazing weekend, or stop kicking yourself for missing it. Recorded and mixed by Matt Bayles (Mastodon, ISIS), the album sounds absolutely magical. The accompanying DVD features the entire 90-minute concert from start to finish. It really is a sight to behold. This is available as a CD+DVD package, as well as a limited edition super-deluxe 3xLP+DVD gatefold vinyl package. There are two different colored vinyl variants available while supplies last (limited to 500 of each). Pre-orders will ship on or around April 15."

The following is a video of “You Are There.” The quality isn’t that great so luckily for you this DVD is finally available for pre-order! I will also include a link to a video of “Ashes in the Snow” live. It’s a downward shot so you can get a better appreciation of what we actually saw live and it’s a better quality video, it just wouldn’t let me embed it on here (Free MP3s, Videos & Tour Dates After the Jump.)

Click here to see "Ashes of Snow" live

TRL Records also offers a few of Mono’s songs as free samples on their website, and just to make it easier for you guys I’ve put those songs together on a Zip file for you to download here. There are 3 songs total, 2 of which are edits, but even with the shorter songs you still get 27 minutes of free music! The bitrate quality is kind of low but again you can always buy high quality versions of the songs if you like them.

Mono will also be on tour so you can check the tour dates after the jump to see if they’re coming to your neck of the woods. If they are I HIGHLY recommend you see them, it’s an experience you won’t forget.

Click to Download Mono "3 song MP3 Sampler”

Order Mono Holy Ground here and browse more releases on Temporary Residence

Hey America, see Mono at a city near you!:

Apr 30 @ Emos, Austin, TX w/ Balmorhea
May 1 @ The Loft, Dallas, TX w/ Balmorhea
May 3 @ Launchpad, Albuquerque, NM w/ Balmorhea
May 4 @ Plush, Tucson, AZ w/ Balmorhea
May 5 @ The Clubhouse, Tempe, AZ w/ Balmorhea
May 6 @ Casbah, San Diego, CA w/ Balmorhea
May 7 @ El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA w/ The Twilight Sad
May 8 @ Slim's, San Francisco, CA w/ The Twilight Sad
May 10 @ Berbati's Pan, Portland, OR w/ The Twilight Sad
May 11 @ Neumo's, Seattle, WA w/ The Twilight Sad
May 12 @ Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, BC w/ The Twilight Sad
May 14 @ Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City, UT w/ The Twilight Sad
May 15 @ Bluebird Theater, Denver, CO w/ The Twilight Sad
May 17 @ Waiting Room, Omaha, NE w/ The Twilight Sad
May 18 @ Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines, IA w/ The Twilight Sad
May 19 @ Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis, MN w/ The Twilight Sad
May 20 @ High Noon Saloon, Madison, WI w/ The Twilight Sad
May 21 @ Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI w/ The Twilight Sad
May 22 @ Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL w/ The Twilight Sad
May 23 @ Magic Stick, Detroit, MI w/ The Twilight Sad
May 24 @ Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH w/ The Twilight Sad
May 25 @ Brillobox, Pittsburgh, PA w/ The Twilight Sad
May 26 @ Lee's Palace, Toronto, ON w/ The Twilight Sad
May 27 @ La Sala Rossa, Montreal, QC w/ The Twilight Sad
May 28 @ Middle East Downstairs, Boston, MA w/ The Twilight Sad
May 29 @ Daniel Street, Milford, CT w/ The Twilight Sad
May 30 @ Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY w/ The Twilight Sad
Jun 1 @ First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, PA w/ The Twilight Sad
Jun 2 @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC w/ The Twilight Sad
Jun 4 @ North State Sound, Durham, NC w/ The Twilight Sad
Jun 5 @ Masquerade (Hell Stage), Atlanta, GA w/ The Twilight Sad
Jun 7 @ Exit In, Nashville, TN w/ The Twilight Sad
Jun 8 @ Hi-Tone Cafe, Memphis, TN w/ The Twilight Sad
Jun 9 @ Spanish Moon, Baton Rouge, LA w/ The Twilight Sad

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Temporary Residence’s Website: