The Soft Moon: February 13, 2016 Market Hotel

February 15, 2016
By

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 5.22.33 PM
[screen capture from this video]

Sometimes adversity breaks bands; other times it breeds strength. The Soft Moon have had more than their share of travails on this tour, the most notable being that they got robbed during their West Coast leg, leaving them with no gear or merch for the rest of the tour. Fans stepped up via their GoFundMe page, and they were back on their way bowed but not broken.

Here in New York, things haven’t been quite that dramatic, but this show still goes down as “challenged.” Venue growing pains meant some gremlins in the Market Hotel’s new sound system cropped up at the worst time, leaving the venue scrambling to get the show on track and the band without a soundcheck. By the time the band came on, there had been a few hiccups in other sets, but the show went on mostly without a hitch. Then, the sound system died at the end of The Soft Moon’s first song, “Black.”

Visibly frustrated, the band faced a choice — call it a night, or plow ahead. With almost nothing technology-wise on their side, they chose the latter, giving the crowd who’d braved sub-zero temperatures a memorable, hard-charging set that channeled frontman/creator Luis Vasquez’s rage into the conduit of their songs, dark, synth-driven postpunk dirges whose disaffection no doubt matched Vasquez’s actual mood. The band’s latest album, Sleeper, is arguably its best, and we got a fine sampling of those tracks, including “Black,” “Wasting,” and “Wrong.” The new record’s added depth was evident on the electropop pleaser from that record, “Far,” in particular.

Among the several performances of theirs we‘ve covered, The Soft Moon have never failed to draw a large crowd, and to draw them in once there, and this show continued the theme. Vasquez is a natural to watch, contorting his body as he belts lyrics that are often buried under effects. Fans crowded around him under the red stage lights, right in the impact zone for the sound system’s deep bass to catch them up in the whirlwind onstage. Once the sound was on track, so were The Soft Moon, and Vasquez was unrelenting for the rest of the set — perhaps afraid to pause too long. The crowd stayed with them, right through the pummeling encore of “Die Life,” “Want” and a new(?) track. The Soft Moon didn’t get to have a perfect night, but they can count this as another good one for those of us on the other side of the stage. For a second shot at seeing the band, come to Baby’s All Right on Feb 18.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed of Dana Wachs’ house mix, coupled with Audio Technica microphones mounted in our usual spot in the venue. Other than the general sound system issues, which we’ve removed, the sound quality is quite good. Enjoy!

The Soft Moon have upcoming shows in Philadelphia on Feb 16, New Haven Feb 17, at Baby’s All Right in NYC Feb 18. See all their tour dates here.

Download the complete set: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the set (with “Black” removed):

The Soft Moon
2016-02-13
Market Hotel
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Dana Wachs) + Audio Technica 4051 (FOB, PAS)>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:04:00]
01 Black
02 Dead Love
03 Machines
04 Parallels
05 Alive
06 Far
07 Circles
08 Zeros
09 Try
10 Wrong
11 Into the Depths
12 Tiny Spiders
13 Insides
14 Being
[encore break removed]
15 Die Life
16 Want
17 [unknown1]

Support The Soft Moon — buy their records from Captured Tracks, visit their website, and support them via their GoFundMe page.

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