Review: Converge at the Marquis, 12/8/11

Categories: Last Night

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Aaron Thackeray
Converge last night at the Marquis. More Converge Denver photos.

CONVERGE at the MARQUIS THEATER | 12/8/11

When Converge played the opening strains of "Worms Will Feed/Rats Will Feast" last night, the place erupted, with almost everybody taking part in a massive sing-a-long, singing like the lyrics were part of their DNA, while others climbed onto the stage and launched themselves into crowd. When the band sang "Built castle walls with blood and bone" and Nate Newton held his bass aloft like a barbarian chieftain victorious on the battlefield, it was like witnessing something mythic.

There's something about Converge that makes everyone lose their minds. If you were up front, you got crushed against the stage, but not in the same way as you might at, say, a High on Fire show. But this did nothing to disrupt Jacob Bannon and company, particularly Bannon, who held his mike out to more intrepid members of the crowd who all knew the words. When Converge was fully engaged it was a non-stop assault with some moments of heightened tension before a blistering release of sound and emotion.

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Aaron Thackeray
Converge last night at the Marquis. More Converge Denver photos.
Musically, what was truly striking about seeing Converge last night -- and this was also in part due to an attentive sound person -- was the great separation in sound. Bannon's vocals were clear as day when he barked/growled the words. The band's sound is akin to death metal in terms of precision and fearlessness and the use of noise and micro-feedback, and there's also elements of punk and grindcore to be heard.

Mostly, though, Converge is a brutal, heavy act with some imagination and intelligence behind the songwriting. None of the songs are even seemingly the same flavor or mood. The chords are held before bringing them crashing down at the right moment, and the group makes great use of space in the music, which puts it in the realm of heavy post-punk, but the outfit's music is not the kind of thing that sits easily in any box.

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Aaron Thackeray
Converge last night at the Marquis. More Converge Denver photos.
At one point during the set, which ended with "The Broken Vow," we heard "Runaway," a highlight of the evening. Jacob Bannon prowled the stage the whole night with dramatic gestures, arms cast wide, coming to the front of the stage to be with the crowd, crouched down, bent over with the intense emotions coursing through him. And for roughly the whole hour of the show, none of the four guys on stage relented except during the short breaks between songs. The pause between set and encore didn't last long and the band came back on and treated us to "Drop Out" and "Last Light."

Location Info

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Marquis Theater

2009 Larimer St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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