By Russell Warfield
September 14, 2011
As much as I’ve loved EMA’s debut record over the last few months, I must admit to having had some worries about whether the album’s dank, crawling atmospherics would result in the live concert equivalent of being tossed off by a freezing cold fist. In the event though, I wasn’t stood with such a tense wince across my face as that, and that’s because EMA’s live performance necessarily translates through a lateral move into more of an organic incarnation of instrumentation and delivery.
This is made instantly clear by the opening performance of album highlight ‘Marked’ – a song which, on record, proudly boasts the shrill squeaking of fingers sliding between frets as its loudest ingredient in the mix. Tonight, however, the predisposition towards cultivating a sense of creeping dread through production and mixing tactics is replaced by a far simpler (in a subtle sort of way) vocal-guitar-drums rendition of the song. Sure, we lose something in the menacing vocal filters which originally sold her gravelly drawl of ‘marrrhrhked’ so perfectly, but – as a live performance – the simpler arrangements, and the more human feel, allows the song to breathe in a more suitable way for the occasion. … Continue Reading