Ah, it’s been way too long since we’ve seen this column in action. Things have been moving fast for the blog since the pandemic, almost reaching new highs in terms of output. But if there’s one thing we definitely miss from pre-COVID era, it’s the shows.
Wether it’s playing a show or going to one, the act of coming together in groups to experience some music and camaraderie is really special, and we were given a powerful reminder from the newly rebirthed Covet and friends just the other night, giving us a perfect excuse to jumpstart the column.
A few weeks back we did an interview with Covet’s Yvette Young regarding a super secret Fecking Bahamas project, and we were beyond flattered when she offered to have us out for a show. The closest stop was Las Vegas, booked at a spot called The Usual Place. It’s a nice place, with spacious wraparound patio and plenty of room for patrons inside, but also a decent-sized stage with great sound and lights to back it up. We can’t stress enough how important it is to bring a little vibe or ambience to your set, and while you can occasionally rely on a venue for this, it’s never a certainty. The vibes here were perfect.
One thing that was of genuine interest to us was that in the line that started to form outside, conversations were easily manifesting between strangers thanks to the perfectly tailored playlist. we’re not saying that The Usual Place is a math rock bar per se, but we’re definitely saying that they played to the crowd with math rock favorites like CHON, Polyphia, and Covet themselves. People would talk about their other favorite tracks, if they’d heard of other bands, how long they’d been listening to math rock, etc. For instance, after CHON, the kid behind me asked another if he’d heard of Strawberry Girls, which he hadn’t, but checked out on his phone. The same kid commented on another person’s Callous Daoboys shirt, and he’d never heard of them before – he also checked them out on his phone, and they started talking about mathcore. It was a great little moment.
Once we were all inside, TSOSIS was up first. TSOSIS is the newly reformed, totally different version of The Speed of Sound in Seawater, a math rock band that never quite got its due in their heyday. We saw them with a then-little-known Hail the Sun in Cedar City over a decade ago, so it was good to say hi after all this time and grab a T-shirt to replace the original I got back then. It was also good to see Damien inject new life into the project with some of that So Much Light energy. It’s a little more straightforward, but also a little more Americana than either, making for a totally new experience altogether.
Up next, The Velvet Teen really showed off their pro side when their laptop malfunctioned just before the show and came up with an entirely different setlist. When we saw them in 2020 with Caspian we knew they were good, but a stunt like that with a discography like theirs takes a top-tier level of practice and dedication, so hats off to them. We’re not sure what the old set would have sounded like, but we were really into this one. This performance was certainly more raw than at the Caspian show, but all the better for it with it’s primal, back to basics nature.
Then of course, we had the stars of the show. Featuring a fresh new lineup, Covet opened served up a seriously cathartic performance. There were people that had never heard of them before that I spoke to in line, and they were borderline in tears within a couple minutes of the excellent “Predawn” intro. (Actually, it was “Odessa.”) Yes, they might have been drunk. But that’s not the point.
It was definitely a very cool move to see bassist Brandon Dove wielding the electric violin with some pedals to recreate the dramatic string tones of Technicolor, especially when he switches back over to bass for the booming outro. Typically, bass isn’t the first thing of when we think of Covet, but Brandon’s coolly comprehensive backup for Yvette’s flurries and effects was audibly noted throughout the set.
Drummer Jessica Burdeaux drives the band with laser focus, and it’s cool to hear a slightly weightier snare tone backing up the songs. Not that there was anything wrong with former drummer Forrest Rice’s tone, because his is indisputable, but in the end Jessica’s darker tone allows for a little more articulation in the band’s guitar and bass mix to come through. This was really evident on “Atreyu” and “Parachute,” where the band actually sounded more math rock than ever – parts that felt more groove-oriented on the record seemed a lot more pronounced on stage, which we loved.
You can tell that Yvette, Brandon and Jessica have put a lot of practice into working together, beyond just perfecting/translating their own parts. They’ve put a lot of energy into being a functional team, which is something any band needs, which can be more complex than it sounds. Working with empathetically work with each other, being able to improvise, being able to stay motivated and positive… these were the attributes we noticed most on stage. With so little time elapsed since Covet nearly disbanded earlier this year, it’s beyond impressive for the chemistry to have grown into what it is, and we can only imagine what it means for the future of the band.
You know, we should also mention that bonus points to Covet and TSOSIS for surviving theft, attempted theft, and property destruction just a few days before tour started and coming out unscathed. Oh, and bonus points to the people who made that happen, as well – you, the fans that donated to the band’s Gofundme and made the tour possible. Hope everyone has had a good weekend, and if you can, catch Covet on this tour. You’ll be glad you did. You can see some of the show on our Instagram here, and if you want, you can buy us a coffee here. We’ve got a lot coming up, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading!