HEALTH sonically assaults the 7th Street Entry
Photos by Jon Behm
Two minutes into HEALTH's stirring set at the 7th Street Entry, the two girls directly in front of me fled immediately for the exit, the band's sonic assault ultimately proving to be too much for them. The more I noticed the people around me becoming uncomfortable with either the volume or the intensity of the L.A. four-piece's performance, the more I became won over by the blistering set and their piercing, overwhelming sound. It was a performance that was as much about continuing a frantic mood than it was about the music, with the band charging through their hour long set with just a few terse words to the audience, choosing instead to focus all of their fury on the songs themselves.
Photos by Jon Behm
HEALTH's music beats with a potency that became all-consuming in the tiny Entry, with their relentless percussion driving every track forward while also causing everyone in the club to literally feel the songs as much as hear them. It was a dynamic performance right from the start, with the band tearing through a majority of tracks from both their self-titled debut and 2009's stellar Get Color. But as the show wore on it became less about which songs they were playing, and more about keeping up the sound experiments the band continually would lose themselves in. Frontman Jake Duzsik's often ethereal vocals belied the raw ferocity of the music, providing brief moments of calm amidst the deafening squall.
The two guitar attack featured on the band's more emphatic numbers was searing and dynamic, with the members continually testing the boundaries of sound by tweaking the effects on their instruments. But it was the pounding rhythm section that consistently propelled these numbers, with the unremitting percussion proving to be so irresistible that everyone in the band assisted with the beat at one time or another during the show. "Die Slow" absolutely slayed live, as did "Triceratops" and "Lost Time." But in the end, the songs all seemed to bleed together to form one emphatic rush of sound, crafting a tense but completely captivating mood that swept up everyone in attendance. And when the band came out for their 30-second, one song encore (the shortest encore I've ever witnessed), they put an assertive exclamation point on the proceedings, providing a fitting finish to their unpredictable, thrilling set.
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