Who: Death From Above, The Beaches
Where: Roseland Theater – Portland, Oregon
When: November 18, 2017
Originally named Death From Above, and renamed Death From Above 1979 after a cease and desist order, the Canadian rock duo has rebranded themselves back to their original band name. Though they’ve decided to keep the ‘1979’ on their social handles, the band has returned with their new album Outrage! Is Now and brings their new era to Portland, with support from a fellow Canadian (and all girl band, as proudly displayed on some of their merchandise) The Beaches.
For those heading into a Death From Above show not knowing much about the band, as myself, you’re in for a powerful and impressive display. The band consists of two members: drummer and vocalist Sebastien Grainger and bassist Jesse F. Keeler. Though they are a duo, a lot of sound comes from Grainger and Keeler. From just listening to the band’s music you’d think they were a full group, and be surprised to witness the truth. Keeler’s bass is sent to an array of pedals to distort it’s sound, allowing it to mimic a guitar and produce sounds signature to the band. This, coupled with Grainger’s loud drumming and piercing voice, results in a band with classic rock -esque roots but the influence from sub-genres. After returning from their 10 year hiatus and delivering two albums to their impatient fanbase, the duo has proven to be a prominent figure in today’s modern rock era.
They’re minimalist set arrangement was an interesting choice, but allowed little distraction to their music. Above them hung their illuminated logo, with little overhead stage light utilized. Grainger’s drum kit was raised on a pedestal on the right side of the stage, while Keeler was surrounded by amplifiers, monitors, and a keyboard on the left side. The stage around them was lined with strips of lights that lit the stage dimly, and produced sharp shadows and silhouettes of the band.
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