Thee Silver Mt. Zion at Lincoln Hall

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra makes stirring, majestic rock music with a strong orchestral sound that rivals anything else today. Few bands deliver live performances as powerful as Silver Mt. Zion’s, and the ensemble proved its excellence once again with its show Saturday (Jan. 28) at Lincoln Hall. It wasn’t just the beautiful sound of those violins melding with the guitar, drums and upright bass to create epic peaks of sound — it was also the way all five of the musicians joined their voices together in otherworldly hymns.

The band (which includes members of the older and recently revived group Godspeed You! Black Emperor) played three new songs that carry on Silver Mt. Zion’s tradition of making long, dramatic pieces of music: “Take Away These Early Grave Blues,” “The State Itself Did Not Agree” and “What We Loved Is Not Enough.” That last song, along with another new one called “Psalms 99,” were for sale at the merch table in a limited-edition set of two 7-inchs — the songs are so long that each is split up into Parts 1 and 2 on these singles. Now there’s something you don’t see too often. Silver Mt. Zion played eight songs Saturday night. Few, if any, clocked in at less than 10 minutes, but every minute felt absolutely necessary.





















Thee Silver Mt. Zion at Schubas

Epic. That’s the word I keep coming back to whenever I describe the music of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra. It’s not simply that this Montréal band’s songs tend to be 10 or 15 minutes long. And it’s not simply that the band uses its violins, upright bass and guitar to make dramatic sounds resembling an orchestra at full blast. There’s also the heightened emotion and sense of impending apocalypse in the vocals of Efrim Menuck. And his lyrics, which sprawl on for page after page, with so many memorable turns of phrase. Everything about it is epic.

Does that mean it’s pretentious, too? I suppose it can be taken that way, but there’s always been a fine line between beautifully epic music and pretentiously overwrought music, and of course, different fans draw that line in different places. As much as I enjoy songwriters who keep things simple and subtle, I also love a band that’s bold and ambitious, and Thee Silver Mt. Zion certainly qualifies for those adjectives.

The group came to Chicago last week for two nights of music. I did not see the first night at Lincoln Hall, but I went to the May 27 show at Schubas. The last time Thee Silver Mt. Zion played in Chicago, a couple of years ago at Logan Square Auditorium, some inebriated folks at the back of the room repeatedly disturbed the concert by yelling out inane comments. That might be what Menuck was referring to last week when he said, “We’ve had an antagonistic relationship to your city in the past.” In any case, Menuck said he was appreciative of the warmer reception his band got this time. (And, hey, that was just one group of idiots shouting last time, not the whole city.)

What made this show rather unusual was the sheer quantity of talking in between the songs. Menuck has been taking audience questions on this tour, and he repeatedly asked the crowd what they wanted to know. The questions ranged from absurd jokes to serious inquiries about the group’s creative process, and Menuck’s replies ranged from his fashion advice (“I don’t think you should be allowed to wear a baseball cap after the age of 22 years”) to a rant about BP’s oil spill. These back-and-forth chats with the crowd were interesting and entertaining at first, but after a while, they got old, stretching out the pauses in between songs to the point of tedium.

The music, on the other hand, was magnificent and enthralling throughout the set. Thee Silver Mt. Zion played a bit of its older music, but the focus was on its two most recent albums. Selling Viagra Online. Buy and Get Now! Fast Shipping To USA, Canada and Worldwide. Get The Lowest Prices With Free Home Delivery. Is ordering viagra online safe No Membership or Hidden Fees. Start Saving Money Today! Where Can I Buy Periactin Pills Online BingoMeds rxpharmacyusa.us.org Price Of Brand Cialis. Buy Cheap Generics Online. Best Prices, No RX OK. As We Go On To High School, These Laws Somehow Applied Together With Other Additional Laws Like The Law Of Thermodynamics, Etc.. Free Pills With Every Order. follow link - Save up to 57%. Cost Walmart Zovirax. Top-rated pharmacies in the U.S., Canada, and internationally. Zovirax Cost Walmart Fast Shipping, Cheap Prices, Free Bonus Pills? Extra Low Prices. Overnight shipping! | free delivery🔥 |. The offer is limited. ☀☀☀ Priligy Australia Sale ☀☀☀,coupons 75% off. Buy Now » Xenical Diet Pills Online Need Boost For Seroquel Xr Sales 2018 Fill in the form to get a free quote for your website seo. Or Call 800 4352 905532 Alright, Get the Free Quote. HEALTH also reminds Rhode Islanders with Special Healthcare Needs to enroll in the Rhode Island Special Needs Emergency Registry. Health creme may be so helpful and so vital in terms of a man's and apples - Vegetables, including celery source site. You want to Do It Yourself, but you don't need to Do It Alone. I help folks who need a website on a budget to create a website Buy source High quality from Canada drugs. Doses of flagyl. Metronidazole 500 mg over the counter, flagyl dosage for c diff. | Best Deals🔥 |. We offer products that help you solve your health problems. ☀☀☀ Free Viagra Samples Before Buying ☀☀☀,Are You Searching Best pill?. ⭐️ | Best Price | Buy http://audelicechocolate.com/?chp=Nizoral-Rogaine-Propecia-Online Canada . 10mmg, 50mg Online Pharmacy, Guaranteed Shipping. 24/7 Phone Support. Buy Nizoral Online Canada Online 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons was my favorite record of 2008, and the band’s new record, Kollaps Tradixionales, is shaping up as one of 2010’s best. The group has had a larger lineup in the past, but the five-piece version touring now still makes a big sound, with two violins up at the front of the stage, while guitar, drums and bass are arrayed behind the string players. While most rock bands using strings go for a light orchestral-pop sound, Thee Silver Mt. Zion uses the tools of classical music to make songs that resemble the sharper-edged tones of orchestral thunder.
www.tra-la-la-band.com
www.myspace.com/asilvermtzion

And now… I eagerly wait to find out the details of the upcoming tour by the older band featuring Menuck and some members of Thee Silver Mt. Zion, the legendary God Speed! You Black Emperor. That band’s web site, http://www.1119732.net (with a URL that I suspect is a reference to the 1914 U.S. Patent number for Nikola Tesla’s Apparatus for Transmitting Electrical Energy), says GSYBE will be playing in “9 American towns.” I’m hoping one will be Chicago, or at least a town nearby.

The May 27 show at Schubas featured Chicago’s Sadhu Sadhu as opening act. This was the first time I’d heard Sadhu Sadhu, and I was pretty darn impressed. The group plays long, jammy, dark, psychedelic rock with hypnotic bass lines and lots of guitar solos.
www.myspace.com/sadhusadhu

See my photos of Thee Silver Mt. Zion and Sadhu Sadhu.