Let me tell you a little story first: I once fell asleep during a Mount Eerie performance. Of course this wasn't Mount Eerie's fault. I had been driving all day from LA to San Diego (which should take less than three hours in good traffic), it was a hot evening and Che Café was just cosy that night, with everyone seated on the floor to watch the performance. But it's still a good story to tell when people rave on about their love for Mount Eerie, justifiably so, and then I can just say I fell asleep when I saw them. I love watching their jaws drop...
This time round, I didn't even get the chance to fall asleep. Because when we arrived at 9:20 pm (let's just say that's early for us), we had not only missed Ô Paon but also Mount Eerie. I still haven't quite figured out how this happened. Did each band only play for 20 minutes or did the concert start even earlier than its scheduled time of 8 pm? Either way, we entered the room when Earth were playing their first song.
And we were immediately taken in. It felt as if we were entering another world, somewhere in the woods, and unknown creatures would turn around a corner any minute. We made ourselves comfortable, but our luck was poor as there were some drunks next to us, making a right racket. Interestingly enough, several audience members asked them kindly to be quiet, and it sort of half-worked.
Earth don't do anything that you haven't heard before as such. But they've done it for a long time and they are really good at it. Their songs and soundscapes build over prolonged periods of time (maybe an average of 10 minutes per song) and really draw you in. It's like diving into the music, like becoming part of it. I had been looking forward to this gig, but I was also worried I might get bored. My attention span isn't always the greatest. But instead, I was challenged in the most interesting way to soak in what was presented to me.
The regular performance took just under an hour and a half. And that was perfect for me - given that the music challenged you and actually required a lot of your engergy, without that you moved an inch. Unnecessarily in my eyes, they came back for an encore of two songs. People had been demanding it. This was a little overkill for me, and arguably not their best songs either. I spoke to others afterwards who felt the same.
Just the same, I was ever so glad we had forked out the cash to be part of the Earth magic for once in our lives. I cannot guarantee I will do it too many times, but I seriously enjoyed the experience.