home Concert Review Taproot @ The Village Underground, NY, NY 8-27-02

Taproot @ The Village Underground, NY, NY 8-27-02

I am a workoholic.

When I can, I work seven days a week. What can I say, it's nice to have money. A while back I had heard about Taproot coming to the city so I begged my boss to let me out early to go. Of course, I had pretty much forgotten about it until he reminded me the morning of the show that I can take off whenever I wanted.

Hard work does pay off sometimes.

So I take off and grab the subway into the city. I get to the 4th St. station and then proceed to walk all around Greenwich Village looking for some club named The Village Underground. I am up and down Houston, back and forth along Bleeker, totally clueless. Almost an hour later I find that the place was essentially across from a different exit of the subway then I came out of – on 3rd Street. I'm retarded.

Lo and behold, there is a bar attached to the place so I slink in and get a beer to drown my idiocy in. A wacked-out drunk started talking to me about how he hasn't gotten any ladies lately and how we have to work together to go get some. Of course, as I try to ignore him, an attractive blonde walks up. He tried to hit on her, and I just sat back, drank my beer and laughed. But the reason that I mention it is that through their conversation, she said that the show next door was sold out.

Slightly disturbed, I ditched the drunk (and leave that poor cute girl to his inept mercy), went outside and figured that I would get a scalped ticket or something. For the first time at any show I have attended, no one was selling, so I sadly just stood right in front of the door and wait. Thankfully some 14 year old street-teamer for Deadsy started complaining about how he didn't have a ticket and Josh, one of the guys with the band, walked by. The kid begged, and the guy goes inside and has the promoter give him about 10 more tickets. So I'm in.

The venue had a lounge at ground level, and then downstairs was the bar and stage. Tiny place. Found out that at capacity it fits maybe, maybe, 200. Now this is a club. I digress.

I saddled up to the bar, began chomping on fries and drinking a way overpriced Heineken. Soon after dredg comes on, and I keep my fat ass planted on the barstool.

dredg's brand of 'experimental', melodic metal sounded amazing. Despite the size of the venue, the music came across pretty clean – very impressive. I don't know any of the song titles but recognized a few of the songs from their first album.

Not too long after, Deadsy took to the stage, and the venue did not do their sound justice. A lot of the subtleties were lost as the down-toned '80s synth sound bounced off the brick walls. They played a good set regardless. Elijah and company came out playing the Imperial March theme from Star Wars and went right into `Key to Grammercy Park' – a fantastic way to open. They didn't play their Rush cover, but I wasn't heartbroken as the rest of their set was pretty good nonetheless.

Again, as a credit to the roadies, Taproot came on soon after and I walked down next to the stage.

They are so good.

Stephen has such stage presence, its amazing. He was all over – hell, in the first song he jumped out to crowd surf. Unlike the prior bands, he made the most of the miniscule stage. He later walked into and around the crowd, moshed, beat up this drugged out loser that he saw was elbowing chicks. He get a lot of credit for that in my book.

They played all of the good stuff off “Gift” – 'I', 'Again and Again', etc. – but sprinkled in some of their new stuff. At one point they rotated old song with new song off of their soon-to-be-released “Welcome” disc. All of it sounded great – a mix of the whisper, scream, sing and rapping over their now-trademark chugging sound. The newer stuff was more melodic but just as powerful. Stephen said after one of the songs that they played (the name escapes me), that it was the first time they played that in front of a crowd. He then whispered “and probably the last” and chuckled. Not that it was bad, but the song had a lot of stops and starts so without hearing the music before the crowd seemed unsure as what to do.

Afterwards, they stuck around for a long time talking and signing. I eventually took off, and made it home in time to get three hours of sleep before heading back to work; the night was well worth it.

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