The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Examining a Mission (Of Burma)

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 15, 2007 7:45PM

We saw Mission Of Burma last summer at the Pitchfork Music Festival and were blown away. Our faces melted and those three old dudes made every single other kid that took the stage look like a bunch of pansies. (Do NOT interpret this to mean we didn’t thoroughly enjoy many of the acts that weekend, we were just caught unawares by Mission Of Burma’s fire scorching the crowd and burning more deeply than the 110 degree temps.) We looked forward to last Friday’s show at Double Door with grand expectations. We were psyched. We were ready to pee our pants with giddy joy at the first note the band skronked out.

2007_01_missionofburma.jpgSo why did we walk out a few hours later bone dry and less than impressed?

Well, after reading a couple other local reviews we’re beginning to wonder if we were at the same show as some other folks. We suspect that some people might have gone in with the same high expectations we had, but instead of noting the show’s faults, soldiered on and colored the evening with their initial hopes.

Mission of Burma turned in a good show, don’t get us wrong. The first set lagged at times, but things began to pick up and really kick into place about thirty minutes in, and then the band announced they’d play a few songs and then take a ten or fifteen minute break. We were a tad confused but were willing to go along with it. There were only two bands on the bill and Mission Of Burma was the clear draw, so if they wanted an intermission that was cool with us.

And afterwards we were glad they took a time-out, since the second set was much stronger than the first, even if it didn’t attain the heights we had seen the band scale in the past. The crowd was respectful and slightly awed, and maybe that was why the room’s energy stayed relatively low. We had hoped the smaller room would confront us with a wall of sound, but the band’s instruments seemed strangely muted and we couldn’t hear any of the usual tape manipulations and sound loops we expected.

Or maybe we just totally missed something. Maybe our hopes were so high there was no way the band could meet them. Maybe we should just go back to listening to their discs, loving them, and hope that the next time around Mission Of Burma exceeds our expectations.