26th April 2006 - Paramount Theatre, Seattle, USA
False Flags / Risingson / Black Milk / Man Next Door / Future Proof / Karmacoma / Hymn of the Big Wheel / Teardrop / Butterfly Caught / Angel / Safe From Harm/ Inertia Creeps / Unfinished Sympathy / Group Four
thanks to kelc (XXORZ) http://www.flickr.com/photos/xxorz/
thanks to Doc Robertsen http://www.wallphoto.blogspot.com./
thanks to 1randym http://latenightrandy.blogspot.com/2006/04/massive.html
With Massive Attack, id happens
Freud divided the psyche into three parts: the ego, the super-ego and the id.
Whereas the ego and super-ego have some footing in the rational world, the id is driven by the pleasure principle.
It demands without words. It communicates and compels our bodies into action through instinctive impulses. It sits in the unconscious, quiet and unnoticed. But occasionally, our environment summons the id and it springs into action, saving our lives or stuffing our faces or, in some cases, opening our senses to carnal desire and the electrifying force of animalistic pleasure.
On Wednesday night at the Paramount, a few thousand ids were summoned from their slumber by the siren song of Britain's trip-hop luminaries Massive Attack. It was their first show in North America in almost a decade and one of only three U.S. stops before they will be whisked across the Pacific.
The band sauntered into its sensual assault with "False Flags," a rarity now available on the recently released "Best Of" album, followed by "Rising Son" and "Black Milk." The latter introduced guest vocalist Elizabeth Fraser of The Cocteau Twins before Horace Andy's distinctive reggae croon delivered "Man Next Door."
One after another, the band added layers of bass lines and lumbering beats (with the help of two drummers), building slowly to crescendos, climaxes and cathartic releases of pent-up energies.
They were making the music of the animal that lives inside us. Like a master lion tamer, Massive Attack waylayed, parlayed and played with that animal energy as if it was putty.
Halfway into the show, the music, fog and dazzling lights had shifted the collective mental gear from "rational"to "ready"so that "Hymn of the Big Wheel" would begin the transcendental liftoff and Fraser's angelic "Teardrop" would take it the rest of the way.
I looked at the audience: closed eyes, bodies swaying; id lingered in the air. Consciousness was gone. We were a shadowy glob.
Regardless, the band, true to its name, unleashed the haunting form of "Angel." It stretched like a spear into the furthest recesses of our infantile minds so that "Safe From Harm" could slap us unexpectedly.
We in the audience were bad animals, ready to misbehave; the band needed only to say the word. Instead, they encored with the slow burn of "Inertia Creeps" that blazed easily into "Unfinished Symphony" and culminated with the absolutely salacious "Group Four."
At this point, the Paramount seemed not a theater at all, but a dark shamanistic cave. It couldn't be over. But it was. Until some jerk with a super-ego turned on the lights.
By Shawn Telford http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/pop/268279_massive28q.html