Patton&Zu, Volt - An evening with Mike Patton
So less than a week after seeing Mike Patton perform with Christian Fennesz, the master of noises mounts another Dutch stage. This time we are present at Tivoli Oudegracht in Utrecht, and his partners in crime are Italian fusion jazz trio Zu. This sure promises to be a weird evening…
Well they did manage to get a band to open for them, namely the German experimental noise rock band Volt. I’ve heard their album which I found to be quite alright, but it felt like it missed something. Live I had this same feeling. It never really rocked, and it never really became too weird for me to handle. It is obvious the guys can play, but they’re not really impressing me. Most disappointing was the guy handling the electronics, I think this aspect of their music could be way more exploited to be honest. In the end I can’t say I was impressed, but this might also be partially caused by my anxious anticipation of what was yet to come.
First thing you need to do at this show is throw all the rules you know about music out of your system. As soon as Mike Patton and Zu (consisting of a drummer, bassist and saxophonist) entered the stage, the mayhem kicked in. This truly was a showcase of four extraordinary musicians, displaying music in a way you never imagined possible. Insane rhythms (tight as a motherfucker), bizarre, heavily distorted tones coming from bass and saxophone, and of course Patton’s vocals and electronics which are out of this world. Yet somehow, through all the noise, one could still detect a song when paying careful attention. Some parts of course resembled fusion jazz (if that can give you an idea of what it sounded like), but I noticed that these four guys combined were almost making some sort of instrumental techno from time to time, really amazing. Overall the show sort of resembled the work of John Zorn with Mike Patton, Joey Baron and Trevor Dunn, only with a shitload of electronics in it. Utterly flabbergasted I left the venue after the show, very content with what I had just witnessed. I hope they will release an album together, for this is just too great to just flow by.