• Goblin With Secret Chiefs 3 At Webster Hall, New York City, October 7th, 2013.

    Italian soundtrack/prog legends Goblin played Webster Hall in New York City last night after a sold out show in Brooklyn the night before. Their first ever U.S. tour saw Secret Chiefs 3, an instrumental group very obviously influenced by the headlining act, opening the show. Bathed in blue light and clad in white robes, they played an interesting and erratic set that seemed to pretty appropriately set the stage for what was to come.

    Goblin came on shortly after nine o’clock and delivered roughly ninety minutes worth of pulsing beats and odd rhythms. Some sort of interpretive dancer came out for a minute or so before the band, who followed her out after she strutted about and as they broke into Magic Thriller the projection screens on each side of the stage came to life and the light show began. These are important parts of the live experience, it would seem, as the five members of the band sort of just stand there and play. They seem really, really obsessed with their music, they take all of this very seriously and while some of the stage banter proved that they’re certainly not without a sense of humor or of warmth, the show went off with clinical precision.

    The volume of the set was, in a word, deafening. While most want their live music loud, this was to the point where it was physically taxing, harmful even. Earplugs made it tolerable, but even then it the low notes were just insane. The middle part of the set did drag a little bit, seeming to rely more on noodling and light tricks than energy or movement, but by the time the last half of the set rolled on they were in fine form. Again, this was an insanely technical performance. Those in attendance hoping for a high energy show got something completely different, something almost hypnotic and even trance inducing. The musicianship on display was amazing and it’s easy to see why the group has the rabid cult following that they do. Layer upon layer of synthesizer and keyboard sounds are held in place by some ridiculously strong ass playing and the kind of drumming that would make Neil Peart stand up and take notice.

    That interpretive dancer/ballerina came back out during the music from Dawn Of The Dead, clad as a zombie ballerina and pretending to bite the band members as they played. Before they did Suspiria, Argento collaborator Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni came out, a special guest there to do the female vocals on that track. Her performance was pretty nuts, she almost seemed like she was having a spasm of sorts, fighting back a scream as she whispered her part with admirable restraint. Some more tracks from the band’s Argento collaborations finished things off in fine form.

    This would have been an amazing show to watch on drugs.

    For those keeping score, the set list was:

    Magic Thriller / Mad Puppet / Dr. Frankenstein / Roller / E Suono Rock / Aquaman / Non Ho Sonno / Death Farm / Goblin / L'alba dei Morti Viventi / Zombi / Suspiria / Tenebre / Phenomena / School At Night / Profondo Rosso / Encore: Zaratozom

    $20 CDs and $25 t-shirts were available at the merch booth as well as a very nice looking exclusive tour EP on vinyl, though at $25 for 5 songs, that seemed a bit much. If the show wasn’t sold out it was close enough that it felt like it. All in all, an interesting night that offered a rare opportunity to see some remarkably technically proficient musicians perform an eclectic mix from an already eclectic catalogue live.

    The remaining dates on the rest of the North American tour (at least at the time of this writing) are:

    Oct 9 Boston, MA/ Sinclair
    Oct 10 Montreal, QC/ Le National
    Oct 11 Toronto, ON/ Opera House
    Oct 12 Pontiac, MI/ The Crofoot
    Oct 13 Chicago, IL/ Metro
    Oct 15 Denver, CO/ The Gothic Theatre
    Oct 18 Seattle, WA/ Neumos
    Oct 19 Portland, OR/ Hawthorne Theatre
    Oct 20 San Francisco, CA/ The Regency Ballroom
    Oct 22 Los Angeles, CA/ Beyond Fest @ The Egyptian Theater (with a screening of Deep Red)
    Oct 25 Austin, TX/ Housecore Horror Film Festival
    Oct 27 Austin, TX/ Housecore Horror Film Festival

    Want some lousy camera phone pictures? Why not.

    Secret Chiefs 3!


    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Mad Dog's Avatar
      Mad Dog -
      Nice review Ian. Sounds a lot like the show I saw in Asheville. EXCRUCIATINGLY LOUD, but worth a bit of suffering I reckon. Felt sorry for the wife though.
    1. Scott's Avatar
      Scott -
      Sounds (pun intended) like a great show! I'm jealous that I can't see this. Right when I leave Chicago. Everyone comes thru Chicago. Nobody goes through Phoenix except Hank Williams and Keith Urban.Shows being overly loud is a trend I can't stand, for real, sometimes it makes me sick. Especially like you said, those low notes get you. It's weird because I have bad hearing from years of concerts clubs and headphones. But I prefer my venues in a nice mid range level, not bone rattlin'. I don't know how the performers can stand it.
    1. Richard--W's Avatar
      Richard--W -
      Hot damn! This concert looks and sounds like a nightmare come true. Absolutely positively awesome. You guys in New York have all the luck. I should have robbed a bank to to get there. Jeez!
    1. Ian Miller's Avatar
      Ian Miller -
      Wow, you got to see the "emo zombie" from DEMONS 2 do her thing! The volume comments make me feel better about having to miss this, though.