Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Battles @ Slim's, July 2, 2007

July 6, 2007

My introduction to Battles is one of those rare instances where the manfriend bought tickets to the show and told me about them rather than the other way around. All the better- I never pretend to always be in the know.

While I have to admit that my first couple of listens to their album, Mirrored, produced a WTF/my brain hurts/how do I categorize this reaction that was surely intentional, followed by an ‘I’m not sure if I like this’. I have issues with no lyrics music- it just always feels like it is missing something to me.

Battles, from NYC, is classified as a math rock band, which can be considered the jazz of rock music. There are 4 members, one of which is John Stanier, the drummer for Helmet. And fittingly, the ‘vocalist’, Tyondai Braxton, is the son of an avant-garde jazz musician (and of no relation to Toni Braxton, in case you were wondering).

Battles is a drummer-centric band, making their name all the more appropriate. The incessant booms create the feeling of a constant trudging along, like an army off to battle in some parallel universe. It also could be the soundtrack to some Koyanisqaatsi-esque film.

The computer geek hipsters were out in full force for this one, ready to champion the band that has got them through their day of programming as their background space out music. We caught the end of the opening set, Ponytail, who has, in the same vein of Battles, nonsensical lyrics.


The stage set up was pretty complex, but nothing else would be appropriate for a math rock band, right? About a million feet of cables, two Macs, 2 keyboards, and, as expected, a front and center drum set with a ridiculously high cymbal. There’s some practice drums to warm up.

On comes the band, and the crowd is in a frenzy. Stanier starts his ass-kicking on the drums. The first half of the show are the no-vocals songs, leaving me to wonder if they aren’t able to pull that of live. There is a lot of interesting back and forth between playing guitar and keyboards at practically the same time, which looks really odd in person. Due to all of the delays, it sometimes feels like they aren’t really playing what you are hearing. Sometimes they are strumming the guitar, but its making noise. Really hard for me to get used to.


The cooler part was when they started the songs with vocals, such as everyone’s favorite, Atlas, and my personal favorite, Leyendecker. Then I found it pretty fascinating- the band took on this animated feel like that of an adult swim cartoon. Even Braxton’s mannerisms while producing these vocals became very exaggerated and stuccato-like, as if these sounds were emanating from his skin.


In the most deserving encore that I’ve seen in a while (the crowd was really into it), the drummer stood up and turned around, looking very serpentine as his black shirt was completely soaked through. It was all very intense.

And afterwards, the band sold their own merchandise. Great way to take out the middleman.

video from youtube

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

A New Level: Metallica, Pantera, and Mammoth VH @ SoFi Stadium Los Angeles, 8/25/23

“Now a new look in my eyes my spirit riseForget the pastPresent tense works and lastsGot shit on, pissed on,…

September 4, 2023

Gimme Danger: Iggy Pop & The Losers with Grace McKagan @ The Pearl Las Vegas, 4/29/23

“Gimme danger, little strangerAnd I feel with you at easeGimme danger, little strangerAnd I’ll feel your disease There’s nothing in…

May 29, 2023

Kill or Become: Cannibal Corpse, Dark Funeral, Immolation, Black Anvil at House of Blues Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay 11/25/22

“Living out the days and nights in absolute fearNever knowing when and where thethreat of the undead draws nearThoughts of…

December 3, 2022

Looks That Kill: Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Poison, & Joan Jett & The Blackhearts @ Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, 9/9/22

“Now, listen up She’s a razor sharp If she don’t get her way She’ll slice you apart Now she’s a…

September 19, 2022

A Dangerous Meeting: Mercyful Fate, High on Fire, Paradise Lost, Fugitive, Suicidal Tendencies, Bone Thugs -n- Harmony, Frozen Soul, Emperor, Mayhem, Carcass, and Wolves in the Throne Room @ Psycho Las Vegas @ Resort World, 8/19-21/22

“Oh, they should have knownNot to play with the powers of HellSome people have lost their waySome people have lost…

August 30, 2022

Among the Living: Anthrax 40th Anniversary Tour with Black Label Society @ Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, 7/28/22

“I’m the walking dudeI can see all the worldTwist your minds with fearI’m the man with the powerAmong the living,…

August 19, 2022

Mad World: Tears for Fears, Garbage @ Kia Forum in Los Angeles, 6/4/22

“And I find it kind of funny I find it kind of sad The dreams in which I’m dying Are…

June 12, 2022

She Sells Sanctuary: The Cult, Des Roc @ House of Blues Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay 5/8/22

“The sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive And the sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive, keeps me alive…

May 27, 2022

Rock You Like A Hurricane: Scorpions, Skid Row @ Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas 4/3/22

“It’s early morning, the sun comes out Last night was shaking and pretty loud My cat is purring, it scratches…

April 15, 2022

Turbo Lover: 50 Years of Heavy Metal with Judas Priest and Queensrÿche @ Zappos Theater, Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino Las Vegas, 3/13/22

“We hold each other closer, as we shift to overdrive And everything goes rushing by, with every nerve alive We…

March 22, 2022