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Mad at Gravity : Show Review : Chicago: 10.31.2002

by Dave Dalka

Photo courtesy of madatgravity.artistdirect.com

Resonating True

I saw Mad at Gravity on Halloween, some rather odd and ghostly things not under their control occurred that night. So this won't be a normal, proper, performance review that will have to wait until next time I see them.

The basic issue was the lack of a proper sound check time from the Jerry Cantrell tour, which did not allow them a standard, pre-show sound check. This was rather unfortunate, as something as basic as Anthony "Bosco" Boscarini's guitar rig not functioning would have been caught and fixed before their set started. Instead what transpired was something reminiscent of the old days of my youth where technical problems at a show were a common occurrence. Guitar techs were scrambling to fix the rig throughout the entire set in the middle of the stage. It's been ages since I witnessed something like this at a show.

Oddly, this did give the rest of the group a chance to impress me. Most two guitar bands would have stopped playing altogether until the problem was fixed given the situation and I totally would have understood if they had. But they didn't. Guitarist James Lee Barlow and bass player Ben Froehlich played an uncomfortable looking game of kludge the guitar and bass parts to compensate for Bosco's ghost. They did this quite admirably, especially during In Vain. While someone like me who has listened to their ArtistDirect release "Resonance" numerous times could perceive a major difference, they indeed sold more copies of their CD that night than they had at any other tour stop on this night so apparently it did not make a major noticeable difference to many in the crowd.

  Mad At Gravity Setlist
01 Burn
02 Historypeats
03 Find the Words
04 Time and Time Again
05 Kerosene
06 In Vain
07 Walk Away
08 Run for Cover

Since it was Halloween, Jake Fowler showered the crowd with candy, in fact the crowd yelled at for more. Instead, Jake showered them with his intense drum beats. While his hair flowed back in the breeze with a well-placed stage fan, he played his complex, multiple time signature beats. Jake is an enigma among today's increasingly similar, predictable and non-value adding drummers that so many bands have. This is both a blessing and a curse to the band as today's some of the music is rather complex in terms of time signatures and hard to categorize for today's all too simplistic, mass-produced, cookie-cutter radio formats.

Vocalist J. Lynn Johnston wore a ghost sheet on the first song and until the first chorus of the second song, which was Historypeats. I was very humored by this because that chorus talks about sheets and the irony was not lost on this crowd member. Still, he needs to work on his stage presence and crowd interaction as it comes across rather weak.

Now on to that interesting topic of Historypeats, this song should definately be an album single. It is the best song on the album by a mile. It is the song that got people interested in them when the sampler was released. It's catchy, unique, got lots of meaning and has complex guitar and drum parts. The band has stated it's their favorite song to play live because of the energy it give them and the crowd. I've heard the argument that Historypeats should not be released as a single because it has a time signature that makes some radio people uncomfortable. I can't think of a better reason for it to be a single and in fact is a great argument of how this song would stand out in the crowd on alternative and active rock formats, if promoted fully and properly by Mad at Gravity's street team. If you don't believe me, read the words of the biggest fans of Mad at Gravity on the message board:

Nickvree: …..all have huge radio potential...also I think Historypeats does too, just cause it's so different than anything else that's out there, with the weird time signature and stuff...
RLSE9: But I think there are at least 2 more songs on the album that have huge potential as singles. The first of them being Historypeats. I know the song has something other than the standard 4/4 time sig. and that no one in the recent past has been able to break through with anything other than that, but I think Historypeats has the sound of a song that could be huge.
Nemesis2040: Historypeats is an obvious choice because it is such a catchy and overall awesome song, and despite the different time signature, it seems like it would be a very radio friendly song.
Browngirl: I also see what everyone is saying about Historypeats being a good catchy tune for the radio b/c when Kelly played it for her lit project, several people started humming the tune afterwards.
gagirl7: I agree w/ everyone else that In Vain or Historypeats would be good too
Pureparadyze: Historypeats is my #1 choice I have put alot of thought into it and I think that is a song that is definitely a radio song and all my friends agree and all the people I have introduced to MaG.....
HigherOne: listening to the album this morning, i remembered back to may when i got the 2 song sampler - just walk away and historypeats and i recalled how it was really historypeats that kept me listening. walk away was a decent song, but at the time, i found myself singing along quicker to historypeats and having that song stay with me throughout the day etc... so i think that would make a great single.
JimlivesinMN: Anyway, I think Historypeats would make it big on the radio. It just has that pizzaz that would have alot of potential.
BordersInsanity: I listened to the album all day today and I would have to say that Historypeats. Something about it is just catchy.
dramastar96: I definitely think that "Historypeats" should be the new single. It gets everybody pumped up and all my friends and i agree its the best song on the CD.
JamesButabi: For your next single you have to put out Historypeats. The most orignal, upbeat, catchy song. Everyone I consult who has not heard the band agrees.
Stellaranne: Historepeats..i am in love with that song and the band.
Read JDM: Historypeats. By far my favorite song on the album.
Historypeats: HISTORYPEATS IS THE ONLY SONG THAT EVER HAS A PRAYER OF GETTING THE ALTERNATIVE AIRPLAY THAT MAD AT GRAVITY DESPERATELY NEEDS.
Incuchick: I think "Historypeats" should be the next single. It was the first Mad at Gravity song I heard which made me want to hear more. Also, it stays in my head for a long time after I listen to it.
Jlynnraeds: Historypeats is a great song and I think it would make a great single. I'm going for that one to be the next single!!!
4ever27: Historypeats - the lyrics are just AMAZING, and it's got the radio-hit sound. One of the best lines EVER - "foresight's only as far as you can peer into the past - BRILLIANT!

So many bands have never made it simply because of weak single selection instead of the song that could break though and be a mega-hit. If they don't release Historypeats as a single, like the lyrics to Historypeats say "when the past comes calling, will it seem appalling now?" Yes indeed, this could be "furtively frustrating" to fans and the band alike. Take advice from the song itself and apply it to radio singles let it sway your actions "memory fades, from black to grey shades, born to be broken. Will you remember this?" Don't make the same mistake, don't let Historypeat…

Related Link(s):
Official site www.madatgravity.com
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