I posted up stage level to catch what was either the end of the Maserati set or one hell of a step aerobics class for the Pitchfork set. Maserati have one hell of a drummer and sound like Tortoise with a dance music jones. Not bad, but a little too close to the much better on paper than headphone Battles for my taste. The songs I heard will probably have me checking out their records down the line, but they sound like a band that I'd say were ok to try to kiss a girl rather than anything I'd rave truthfully about.
Mono were up in short order, setting up their own gear for the most part and greeting a good sized group of regulars that seemed to be attending all the shows. Seeing Mono for the first time, I can see why they have such a rabid following. Louder than creation when they need to be, but just as likely to purvey more pastoral fare, the band shows great taste and restraint in their live shows. 3/4 of the band sat for the lion's share of the performance, standing when necessary to make guitar or amp scream appropriately, but equally as intense in either position. The set lasted just over an hour, causing a few casualties early on in the set, but conjuring up gold for the duration of the sonic maelstrom. Their ability to conjure beauty from volume and dissonance without degenerating into full-on art noise sets them head and shoulders apart from bands like Explosions In The Sky and putting them in the upper echelon with bands like Daturah and Envy. Ear protection was a must, but Mono are a must-see regardless of performance volume. There are a few dates left on the US tour, check them here and see them if they come within a state or two of your ears.