Photo and Words by Joe Calixto
Ever been to a concert where you just have goosebumps throughout the show? Well, that was me at this show. It wasn’t because the AC was blaring, it was obviously because I was about to see one of Japan’s greatest bands, Mono.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Japanese music growing up, and always had a soft spot for post-rock. So when I saw that the legendary Mono was coming thru my city, celebrating 20 years of being a band. I had to be part of this celebration. And where else would you celebrate such an incredible achievement than at a goddamn cemetery.
The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever has been hosting shows for the last few years now and it always brings in the eerie vibes, especially to a show like this. I got inside the venue and a wall of haze and very somber instrumental music greeted me.
As the room quickly filled up, the opening act comes on stage. Los Angeles native, Emma Ruth Rundle comes back to the city of angels. Playing her signature mix of ambient and folk with the hint of the dark and the heavy to the, at this time, packed Masonic Lodge. I’ve seen ERR 4 times now including once as Marriages, and she still gives me chills every time. Check out her last record On Dark Horses coz it is straight fire.
After a quick switcheroo, Mono hopped on stage and didn’t waste any time showing Los Angeles why they’re one of the best damn bands in the fucking world. This was the first time I’ve seen them but have been following the band for quite a while and this was how I pictured a Mono show. From the light production, the intensity of the band, to the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd. Mono showed how a band, who’s been around for 20 years, rocks out. They played a good amount of older hits with a mix of music from their 10th album, Nowhere Now Here. I hope this band will never stop.
I don’t know if it was the venue, or the vibe, or the fact it was a 2 band bill on a Monday, or the smoke machine, or the fact there were hundreds of graves around me, but I definitely left the room with chills from all the feelings I’ve felt watching these Japanese legends.
Mono still has a whole lot of shows all throughout 2019 and you should definitely check em out HERE
“ARE YOU THERE?”