Live review from Girls with Guitars #10
Way Way Back
3 Is A Party
主唱聲線令人印象深刻，充滿力量的同時竟然可以溫柔細膩。樂隊風格迷幻、迷失而狂野，但礙於現場表演的關係，應將樂隊昇華至令人層次的細節處理未能好好呈現，狂野的部份略嫌過強，鼓亦應注意力量控制，毋須由頭大聲到尾，例如Way Way Back幾乎只能聽到crash不斷敲打的聲音。Stardust旋律編排相當不錯；3 is a party和When I Dream of Grapes Turning Blue展現樂隊如何以簡單的元素創造厚實豐富的質感。整體而言，樂隊可塑空間很大，若能進一步專注調整細節，絕對是難得一見的indie樂隊。
So It Goes is no stranger to the live performance scene. We at The Underground had tried to get them to perform at a show for several years but their bookings were always so full that we could just never match times! It took four years, but finally So It Goes was performing on a The Underground stage.
As a reviewer, I had personally not seen them before and going by their self-written description of ‘Alternative Dream Pop’, I was expecting something along the lines of David Bowie or Sia, well, don’t expect that, at least not on stage. You’d find, if you were to search for them online, that their music is heavily produced with effects and modifications that definitely fit into the ‘alternative dream’. The only time I managed to hear anything ‘dreamy’ in their live performance was in the Wah Wahs that connected Bugs and Way Way Back. Instead, their musicality on stage is aggressive, straightforward and in your face. It’s grunge, it’s punk, it’s heavy rock.
Formed of only drums, guitar and bass, the small ensemble is incredibly tight in demeanour and performance. In fact, this tightness as a group sets them apart from a lot of other bands (especially indie bands) where certain personalities take lead. The first thing you realize when you watch a So It Goes performance is their image. Dressed fully in black, they began to play without any introduction to songs or band members. One would think they’d introduce then after the first song or during a later number, but you’d be wrong. In fact, with their heads always covered by long hair, you can barely see their faces. As they continued performing though, it became obvious that everything – down to what they were doing offstage – was part of a performance. So It Goes has an all-black mysterious, stoic punk image and they never for a second let you forget that. Once I realized that, the performance became all the more astounding because despite the image being a somewhat cliched one, you could feel the band’s authenticity radiating with every beat of the drums or strum of the guitar.
And boy did they beat, boy did they strum. Cutting down on stage banter, their setlist included a whopping nine songs with all of them high energy. Yet, despite the heaviness, their music is introverted, reflexive and sometimes tinted with humour (Cat Café has a lot of references to ‘my treasure, my treasure’ – I too think that all cats are treasures and am glad to have found a band that agrees with me). A criticism I would give though is that despite every beat being clear, the songs themselves were not very clear. With few introductions and a dragged out vocal style – absolutely on point for the genre – I found it hard to follow each song’s lyrical trajectory. The only introduction I can recall is when they introduced Sunday as a song for ‘people who hate Mondays’ to which the whole audience expectedly laughed. At some moments, it was as though I was simply sitting in a wall of blackness both in sound and visuals. As I’ve hinted at, their online sound is different and perhaps taking a stronger cue from that occasionally and injecting the aesthetic into their live performance might mix it up a bit or perhaps there could be a way of injecting some more interactivity within context of their distant image; after all they were the only band to control the screens at the venue, maybe there’s something there.
Nonetheless, So It Goes was an amazing performance to watch. They controlled every aspect of their performance, not a word was out of place, not a note was out of place, even the screens were deliberately turned off to fit in with their all black image. So It Goes is the sort of band that knows what it wants to be and does it well, their cohesion is more than astonishing, everything from music to visuals is deadly accurate. Whether or not you like the aesthetic or the music is one thing, but So It Goes is a band that demands and deserves respect.
– Cyril Ma