Friday, November 18, 2005

The Moon is Made of Cheese: Diamond Nights at The Troubadour, Hollywood, Mon. Nov. 14th




The song that plays when entering diamond-nights.com is preceded by an epic intro of growing synthetic tone, and begins with pompous, yet welcoming and familiar rock-metal muted guitar syncopation. The song is a sound inspiring the image of smiling knights galloping on horseback, or a longhaired guitar player strumming with one foot resting on his floor monitor, chin to the sky. As one reminisces to juxtapose a happier version of the 1980’s-90’s metal band, “Megadeth”, Diamond Nights, whose dove-infested logo sits upon a website donning a black and grey motif of clouds and space, seems to be joking, perhaps satirizing, or heaven help us, paying tribute to 80’s-90’s arena rock. The lead singer, in the subsequent vocal, does not sound like he’s joking one bit. Additionally, when listening further, the melodic syncopation and descending drum fills concluding measures are rather endearing and morale boosting (?) (To compliment the whole galloping knight nuance). The lead vocalist’s falsetto breakdowns still seem satirical, and after scoping the supporting acts on Monday night’s bill at the Troubadour, the first time listener begins to see the light, or hear “The Darkness”.
The main supporting act was “Kennedy”, a band fronted by a prominent lead singer, styling a geek-mod split end hair mop and sunglasses bestowed with small rhinestones (real or fake?). In their necessarily high-priced music video most prominent on the website, Kennedy is without the band between a colorful fantastic disco-land and a classroom singing the chorus: “Nobody loves you, like your momma loves you, but who’s lovin your momma? I am, I am”, to a group of elementary school students. When the mother comes to pick her son up from school it appears she is the one in detention as her son is locked out of the classroom, and he slouches to the floor and begins to cry.
Before Diamond Nights enters the stage, the first time listener, post-website analysis, has definitively concluded that the headliner would begin the show with a gimmick or joke, sporting wild costumes or employing wacky personalities. There are no gimmicks, or costumes or wild impersonations suggesting a satirical position however. They play the same terribly cliché ambient buildup to their recognizable single from the web site. The band simply rocks out and even has the audacity to leave the stage littered with their instruments for a club employee to reassemble, in true rock-god style before the first encore.
The music is fun and upbeat though, and they switch from cold raw rock n roll, like leftovers from the refrigerator, to bass-drum-on-the-quarter-note disco beats, which have become so popular among 80’s revival dance-scene youngsters. The resident disco ball is utilized to its full potential. The syncopation becomes almost impressive, or at least eminent and appealing during odd time signatures. The drummer is having the time of his life (as is his sister consequently, who paraded through the audience declaring their relation). The obviously experienced lead singer is infallibly running the show and communicates effectively with the eager and embracing crowd. “Have you guys ever heard of this band, they’re called Diamond Nights out of New York?” he repeats throughout the night spawning increasingly eager conclusions of applause, “I hear they’re really great”. The rest of the band sweats profusely in acknowledgement.
The music is fun, but surely the crowd must realize the complete unoriginality and bastardization of 80’s and 90’s straight rock coming out of the speakers. Turning away from the stage at front and center of the audience, its easy to realize that the amalgamation of mostly style neglecting audience hasn’t been taking notes on the stepping stones of rock n roll. Rather they’re satisfied with the upbeat danceable rock passed their way and they have no reason to complain. Diamond Nights is the practical version of progressive rock, the workingman’s rock. They hold on to what worked in the past and ponder the extent of its late popularity (hence the term “Arena Rock”). Whether they are perceived as energetic, nostalgic, satirical or a joke, somewhere tonight, in this vast universe, Diamond Nights is taking an audience to outer space.

2 Comments:

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