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Concert Review: Saosin at the Marquee

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The Australian leg of the Taste of Chaos tour consisted of concerts in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane on 3 consecutive nights. A very demanding schedule, but even more surprising is Saosin not only completed their leg but flew back to Sydney after the Brisbane concert to play a free set at the Marquee in Annandale last night. Free concerts from international bands are almost unheard of these days, but it seems Saosin was able to pull it off.

Since it was in a bar, the sound was better than standing at a ninety degree angle to the speakers at Taste of Chaos, and the gig was all the much better for it. Saosin was unbelievable. Beginning with what must now be their trademark ambient guitar intro, they launched into "It's Far Better to Learn" with furoar, bass speakers pounding and drummer Alex Rodriguez making sure every single strike of his endless rolls were heard. Like their Taste of Chaos set, they had no hesitation in launching straight into Sleepers," probably because the two songs seem to meld into each other so damn well.

Throughout the gig, it became obvious that frontman Cove Reber was trying hard to interact with the audience as much as possible, at one point even screwing up a song because he was trying to position himself so that a crowd member could get a photo of them both. It was also increasingly evident the band was extremely tired – three days of intense festival touring and being up since 5am would do that to you. Still, their stage composure was excellent, and their crowd interaction even moreso. Guitarist Beau was keen to demonstrate his recently gained knowledge of the word "root."

The set was in reality quite short, about an hour in length. But, without a supporting band, and with such energetic and hard-hitting songs, an hour is pretty sufficient. They covered many of their songs from their first LP, and like Taste of Chaos, played "Seven Years." They didn't seem to be too willing to play outside of this, though – someone yelled for them to play "Mookie's Last Christmas" but Reber unfortunately managed to dodge it. For good reason too, it seems – those songs that he hadn't played for a few weeks turned out rusty, and he sustained minor vocal problems throughout the night, often resorting to the crowd's vocals for the higher notes.

While I'm pretty sure I sustained some pretty heavy ear damage, it was all worth it – Saosin is an excellent band to see live. The intimate setting, the relative proximity to the speakers and the overall atmosphere of the gig made it much better than their Taste of Chaos set.

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