My friend first introduced “Yamantaka // Sonic Titan” to me, the self-proclaimed Noh-Wave prog collective from Canada, by highlighting their theatricality and their heritage – indigenous, Asian, and Canadian. I’m a big fan of anime, Asian cultures, and music from across the globe, so this was all striking a chord with me. Plus who doesn’t like a fantastic show with their concert! So when I heard that their latest album “Dirt” was conceived as the soundtrack for an unreleased Haudenosaunee and Buddhist themed Anime produced in 1987 I was fascinated. And after I took some time to listen to their unique brand of prog rock, so artfully delivered in their first albums YT/ST and UZU, I knew I was ready to see them live!
On March 18th I had my chance at Atlanta’s historic venue The Earl, which has counted among its previous artists such as: the Postal Service, Neko Case, Cat Power, and perhaps more relevant to YT//ST, Mono a prog-rock/noise-rock outfit from Japan.
This night YT//ST were joined by Atlanta based artists Shouldies and Chew. Shouldies, a “goth synth punk” band, resonated with the crowd admittedly more than I. However, they certainly gave the night that needed initial burst of energy. Chew, a post-rock outfit playing their first hometown concert after sometime away, really took it to the next level with their incredible dynamic sound and energy! Snare-uh Wilson just killed on the drums! All while Brandon Pittman (bassist) and Brett Reagan (guitar/electronics) rocked right alongside her. By the end of their set I was blown away! I now understood why they’ve started making a name for themselves not just in Atlanta but around the globe!
On next was YT//ST! Donning their kabuki inspired face-paint, they took to the stage and launched into a set of incredibly high energy and highly skilled rock. Playing largely a selection from their new album Dirt, not yet released at the time of the show, we were treated to a bevy of new tracks that I’ve now just one week later come to love. Additionally, we were treated not just to the spectacle of a YT/ST show, but to the skill of so many talented artists coming together! YT//ST is now as much a collective as it is a band, so for older fans they would not perhaps recognize many of the newer members. However, Alaska B, drummer and remaining co-founder, remains as the crux of the outfit, and she’s definitely gathered some talented musicians alongside her to fill out the incredible sound.
Eventually, like Dirt’s final track title’s suggest, we were “Out of Time”. I was thankful at least to have shared this wonderful evening with these bands, and certainly now after enjoying such a show I’ll be on the lookout to watch Yamantaka // Sonic Titan again in the future!