Everything BORIS sets out to accomplish is not without a dose of “special”. Such was their recent U.S. tour, half of which were two-night residencies; one night of “All-time Classics,” a set of their heavy rock, non-drone material, and a second night of the exact opposite — a complete performance of their hour-long Flood album, plus experimental/drone selections.
Their tour finale in Los Angeles at the Echoplex brought out wonderfully diverse, sold out crowds. Night one’s “All-time Classics” featured their usuals like “Pink,” “Farewell,” “Rainbow,” and “Statement.” But the band also jammed out some heavier classics off Heavy Rocks (the first one) and Ampilfier Worship, which they hadn’t played in a while–songs like “Heavy Friends,” “Hama,” and “Dyna-Soar.” The excitable set earned them a rousing reception that they disappointingly didn’t reciprocate via an encore.
Perhaps night two served as that encore. The set was six lengthy songs long, which included a cover of MY BLOODY VALENTINE‘s “Sometimes.” Closing the night was their promised performance of the Flood album in its entirety–a song that contains four movements beginning in guitar ambience and peaking with the heaviest downtuned mix of melodic doom. But to call Flood “drone” is a grave disservice–BORIS have an uncanny ability to shape sound in a most thoughtful and artistic manner. To witness the performance of Flood was also to feel their magic in the making.
While their experimental craftsmanship may be difficult for most to comprehend, for BORIS to do a two-night stand playing different styles each night was a choice move. It gave fans old and new something special for whichever (or both) style they prefer and also allow for each style to be true to their essence. As uncertain as what stylistic endeavor BORIS will pursue next, it’s equally certain that they will continue to offer special treats both recorded and live.