Sunn o))) at David Byrne’s Meltdown (Gig Review) By Rob Cheney
A few years ago I had heard mutterings from online friends about a band that when they played live the sound was so loud that fillings would rattle bowels empty etc (maybe the bowels bit is somewhat exaggerated!). Anyhow, being a lover of loud bass-led music I was curious and found out that Sunn o))) played ambient drone metal and it was basically two blokes with ridiculously downtuned guitars, a Moog player and on vocals a Hungarian called Atilla who wore monk’s robes on stage. This aroused my curiosity and I purchased their last album Monoliths and Dimensions. Then last year they did an album with Scott “you’ve lost that loving feeling” Walker which turned into one of my favourite releases from last year. So when I heard they were invited to play at David Byrnes request in London I just had to go!
Sunn o))) are named after a defunct brand of very loud valve-driven amplifiers from the 70s and there was a stone henge style array of these on stage.
Just before the show started the house lights went out and gallons of dry ice were unleashed ,at times making it difficult to see I put in my earplugs as advised. Then the noise started the clip below shows the first 2 minute.s
I would best describe the experience as like attending a black mass/exorcism inside a smoke filled jumbo jet engine while it was taking off. You know something is loud when you feel your clothes vibrating! The sound was constant no breakdowns or quiet bits but it was kind of relaxing in a wierd sort of way and totally unlike anything else I have seen heard.
It’s an experience I definitely would do again.