The lights in the house went down as the lights on the complex network of LED screens on the stage became illuminated. Messages and suggestions were delivered to us in a music induced awakening of the senses in an attempt by the band to jolt our consciousness.
There is a sudden chill in the air in Los Angeles. Relief from a summer that felt like fall would never come. The beanie brigade in L.A. was ready to infiltrate the Greek Theater for a date with Massive Attack. A truly chic audience took their time getting ready for the show, as evidenced by the clogged funnel of fans tunneling through the gates just minutes prior to the headliners taking the stage. Along with the layered faithful was an eclectic mix of Euro’s and grown up club kids, all who were expecting the usual, moody, auditory and visual extravaganza that always accompanies these pioneers from Bristol.</span>
The band opened with a nearly unrecognizable arrangement of “Karmacoma” that didn’t feel at all contrived or frustrating like other bands who spruce up classic tracks in an attempt to refresh songs that they’ve played a million times. Massive Attack then proceeded to navigate their show amongst a maelstrom of lasers, images and text. Robert Del Naja, Grant Marshall and company know how to capture an audience. Nowhere was this more evident than when they played “Teardrop” and “Angel”, back-to-back, mid way through the set. After those moments, they could do whatever they wanted with us and that power was not taken lightly. There is a reason why this band has remained, beyond relevant. You can hear their influence everywhere in the music of today, even if most kids have never heard the term, “trip hop”. There was another notable moment during the three-song encore when they played “Pray for Rain” live for the first time ever and were accompanied by Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio. I never realized how much the verse of that song reminds me of Murder Ballad era Nick Cave. Another meaningful, Massive Attack live show moment to add to the list.
The crowd, although fashionable, did not bring their dancing shoes that night. Even with a subdued audience, this was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen Massive Attack play. Even with the clouds covering the waning crescent moon, we all orbited around the unified satellites on that stage.True Masters. They seamlessly executed their two hour set. Integrated loops and synth were married to guitars, and not one but two drummers in one of the most well mixed shows I’ve ever heard.
Take a look at our photos below of Massive Attack at the Greek Theatre and opening act, Clark.
Show Review: Danny Baraz
Want more photos? Check out the photo gallery below!