Converge "Thousands of Miles Between Us Screening"

For those familiar with Converge and their intense live performances, ToMBU will give you just that. What I got to experience this past Saturday night, November 14th in Coolidge Theatre was a real treat. The fact that the event was taking place in a movie theatre was going to be my first experience watching a music feature in public. I had just reviewed the Rammstein Made in Amerika blu-ray. If I could have the same opportunity for that release, I'd probably make the effort as well. Just something about that big theatre and it's jumbo surround sound speakers and your favorite band. I'd imagine that would just sell itself. There was a nice line forming up outside, but everything moved on time, and there was plenty of extra seating in the theatre.

     Upon entry, the prints we so desperately drooled over were being distributed as we made our way into our seats. We got a chance to meet with Kurt and ask him a few questions about the release and he gave us some of his thoughts about the content. A few moments later Ben, Kurt, Nate & Jake all made their way to the stage a bit sheepishly, slightly unprepared, but somehow still charmed by presence of the event. A short impromptu Q&A followed, that was only slightly effective once Kurt took over and expressed his concerns about violence and its presence at certain shows. 

(Converge Q & A at Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA) 

    Then the curtains drew and we watched a quick Loma Prieta video that was a nice plug in to the set.  Then came the show! The first disc of the ToMBU collection is a show captured in Union Transfer in PA on the most recent AWLWLB tour. What we see is what we get and the camera work on the band is really good for once. For those familiar with their prior collection, The Long Road Home showcased some raw content. Footage that went straight from VHS to a computer and burned onto a disc. Sure some of the beginning footage of "The Saddest Day" was artsy and tons of fun, but sometimes that good production can help fans get a good look as to what's really happening on stage. The chords, the microphones, the bass, the guitars, everything is so crisp and clear in this glossy production. 
     The actual Union Transfer set is more of the same as we've been seeing for the past twenty years. It's not as if the band penned dragons to the PA and set off an impressive array of pyro techniques just for the release and filming of this blu-ray. In fact their reluctance to step up their production and keep things as organic as possible has always been Converge's speciality. They are in fact the gem of the evening. Their energy being one of a kind, that's often all that's really needed. So everything's here captured in all its glory. 
     Just like anything else, Converge has matured over the past two decades and this set captured the level of professionalism they've been able to craft into their act throughout all those years on the road together. Their set is a true product and having it captured here to be able to flip on and off is a wondrous luxury. Seeing it in a movie theatre I'd be used to seeing Avatar was a real fun experience as well.

(watching Converge like Terminator was cool)

      After the set, the band hung around for a bit and Deathwish was handing out a few goodies with pencils, stickers on our way out the door. They also had that miraculous vinyl bin spread out with a few solid records I managed to clean up.         

(Deathwish pop up shop)

     ToMBU is released in various formats this week, and I'm interested to hear the quality of the vinyl for the show.  Most of the live tracks on their prior releases sounded real tough and noisy with way too much treble that was often too challenging to control. Hopefully, with Kurt on production duties those records will make a nice addition to the collection. The other 15+ hours of footage on the other two discs, well, we'll just let that have its own review a little later in the blog.

(thank you!)

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