Friday 24th November, 2017 – Academy 2
In support of their latest album, The Endless Shimmering, Belfast-based post-instrumental-math-rock And So I Watch You From Afar are bringing their trademark blend of math rock melodies and post-rock rhythms to life on their latest tour. Having listened to the aforementioned album, I went into the gig with high expectations.
Bucking the usual trend and starting their set slightly early, we were greeted with a brooding, moody intro, flowing into their first piece, the dizzying and erratic ‘Search:Party:Animal’. The band were unconcerned with, and wasted little time on stage talk, with only the occasional “thank you” and a shout-out to the support band, Gallops. This is not a criticism — the audience were here to listen to the band, and that’s what they got — playing an impressive 15 or so pieces from their whole discography.
It was all too easy to get carried away in the music, I often found myself surprised when the piece ended, because I’d been so fully immersed in the music that I lost track of the time. The 90 minutes that the band spent performing where such a whirlwind of mesmerising beats I was honestly surprised to check my watch at the end to see how much time had passed!
The audience was very typically post-rock — many people content to stand and enjoy the music as quite the solo experience — and a small group of pit warriors. The pits were fun and friendly, so there’s nothing to fault there.
I will say that while the set list flowed very well, it did not have the changes in energy that really make an excellent post-rock show. The long, tense build-ups to their more upbeat, energetic pieces, and climactic apexes. A very fun show overall, just perhaps lacking the punch I was looking for from such an accomplished and talented band.