A Place to Bury Strangers at Larimer, 11/11/12

Categories: Concert Reviews

Tom Murphy
A Place to Bury Strangers at Larimer Lounge.


It's never boring when you go see A Place to Bury Strangers play, and last night at the Larimer was no exception. The band overwhelmed the senses for the bulk of the set. A tasteful layer of fog drifted around the stage, sliced through with streams of light forming a cone that turned and produced images of colors and textures. There wasn't much time to focus on any of that, though, as the images moved at the same hectic and relentless pace of the music, pausing briefly only as the songs did in fleeting moments of reflective tones before diving headlong into buzzsaw explosions.

See also:
- Profile: The (literally) deafening buzz of A Place to Bury Strangers
- Oliver Ackermann of A Place to Bury Strangers on the joys of creating Total Sonic Annihilation

Tom Murphy
A Place to Bury Strangers last night at Larimer Lounge

Opening with "You Are the One," A Place to Bury Strangers immediately made us forget about the cold outside. That track is more of a pop song than some of the band's other material, but, really, there is a pop element to all of its music in general, even as it's wed with raw noise and the outer edges of what can be done with guitar sound.

"Deadbeat" was the first song of many from the band's 2009 album Exploding Head. That song, with its hypnotic build to a burst of emotional catharsis, is one of the finest moments on the album. Live, it definitely felt like we were riding a heady wave with the band as the music was being performed. And the outfit fed off this symbiosis in a major and noticeable way. The trio didn't appear to be playing off a set list. Instead, it felt like the guys were feeling things out in some imperceptible way, except for when Dion Lunadon joked with the audience about needing to loosen up and then solicited requests.

Later in the set, the group treated us to a relatively new song called "Burning Plastic," which appears on a split seven-inch with the band Ceremony, and both Oliver Ackermann and Lunadon played bass, making it sound like there was another guitarist, as both processed their sounds heavily -- something most bass players in rock bands don't do even remotely to the same degree.

Tom Murphy
A Place to Bury Strangers at Larimer Lounge

Someone in the audience kept asking for "Fear," and the band responded by playing "Lost Feeling," one of its most harrowing songs. At the end, Lunadon said, "This is for the guy who insisted on 'Fear.'" The main set ended with "I Lived My Life to Stand in the Shadow of Your Heart." This was when the band -- more so than they had in the already outstandingly psychedelic, beautifully disorienting show -- totally went for broke.

At some point, Ackermann put down his guitar facing up from the stage. He then took one ultra-bright strobe and set it blinking upward and used another bright strobe as a kind of scraping slide on the guitar. This setup effectively washed out anything on the other side of that light on the stage, so much so that you could no longer see Robi Gonzalez.

After some guitar tonal gyrations, Ackermann picked up the strobe and the guitar and played with the strobe aloft. You could make out Lunadon amid the nearly blinding flashes of light, but it was like the guys had opened some gateway into another dimension made entirely of light and cavernous sound. Your eyes had no time to adjust, and when the strobe was facing forward across the other strobe, it washed out everything else. Then the music stopped, and only the strobing continued.

Tom Murphy
A Place to Bury Strangers at Larimer Lounge

After several moments your eyes could adjust, but all the same, it looked like Ackermann and Lunadon came out of nowhere to pick up instruments and play two more grittily luminescent displays of raw power before calling it a night, with Lunadon commenting, "Thank you Denver, you're always the best."

Location Info


Larimer Lounge

2721 Larimer St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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