Wednesday, October 04, 2006


As expected, Massive Attack put on a powerful performance last night at the Roseland Ballroom. It's amazing how these artists can sound strong and smooth at the same time. With a live set up of a bassist, keyboardist, guitarist, and two drummers behind them, Massive Attack rotated vocalists depending on the song - 3D for almost everything (who did a Thom Yorke-esque epeleptic boxer/robot dance throughout the show), Daddy G for a few ("Karma Coma", "Mezzanine", "Rising Son"), Horace Andy provided his reggae-tinged vocals on a few ("Man Next Door," "Angel", "Hymn of the Big Wheel"), "Elizabeth" for the slower female vocals ("Teardrop", "Black Milk"), and another female vocalist for the soulful female vocals ("Safe From Harm", "Unfinished Sympathy"). You didn't really realize how many total people were in this collective until the finale, when all 10 players came out to take a bow.

I saw Massive Attack in 1998 when they were promoting Mezzanine, and it was the best show I've ever been to. I don't think last night's performance was as good as the '98 one, but it was the best show I've seen this year. I was a little disappointed that we only heard one track from Protection, as the set was heavily focused on Mezzanine, and I wish Daddy G had more chances to rap (although he did get behind the decks to scratch on a couple of tracks, most notably "Unfinished Sympathy"). I missed Mushroom too, and the live setup focused more on the guitar than the scratches (which got a little annoying at times - a lot of loud "wah wah" licks from the guitarist).

Highlights of the set were "Rising Son", "Karma Coma", and "Inertia Creeps". The crowd's favorite had to have been "Teardrop" (which makes sense, as this song is probably the band's most popular, seeing how it's in movies and shows all the time), and it was quite good actually, with a little acoustic guitar to play the lead notes. Here's the overall setlist:

1. False Flags
2. Risingson
3. Black Milk/Melt
4. Karma Coma
5. Man Next Door
6. Butterfly Caught
7. Hymn of the Big Wheel
8. Mezzanine (which is about "my homicidal ex-girlfriend with a crackhead mother")
9. Teardrop
10. Angel
11. Future Proof
12. Safe From Harm

13. Inertia Creeps
14. Unfinished Sympathy
15. Group Four


Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

Man, that show must have just kicked ass .. I just love Massive, and my favorite from that list would have to be Karma Coma

4:56 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Yeah, I'm glad they played "Karma Coma" - I saw some other setlists from a few other dates, and that was excluded.

9:11 AM  

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