Maps & Atlases

support None
author PP date 21/02/13 venue Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN

There's no support band for Maps & Atlases at Loppen tonight, probably because the math rock scene in Denmark is vanishingly small. So despite their best efforts of locating a suitable support band for the evening, the venue settled into having a couple of guys from the band take over DJ duties to play relevant music to a vibrant crowd, which consisted mostly of international people based on the amount of English spoken across the board.

Dave Davison - Hippie Jesus

Maps & Atlases

Eventually it was deemed that people had conversed enough for Maps & Atlases to enter the stage to deliver their soothing combination of math rock, indie, and folk. They immediately create a cozy atmosphere with the crowd mostly moving casually along to the music as is to be expected at shows like these. It's a far cry from the heavier and faster music shows that I usually find myself at, but there's also a reason for people to be standing rather still: the spectacular, if not outright frenetic fretwork by their vocalist/guitarist Dave Davison. Much like at the recent This Town Needs Guns show a couple of weeks ago, the first half of the show sees the crowd stand and stare dazzled - even hypnotized - at the crazed finger tapping sequences of Davison, who seems to wield his instrument with an attitude that says "who needs a guitar pick anyway?" throughout the show. Plus he looks like a hippie jesus with his long hair, lengthy beard, and trendy t-shirt image.

His banter in between songs belies his hipster exterior, though, because he takes every opportunity to thank everyone for coming out to see the band again in a humble, down to earth manner. Otherwise, Davison spends the set largely bobbing about his microphone setup, concentrated on his technical guitar playing that hinders any further movement. Here's where the bassist compensates though, taking advantage of the space found on the left side of the stage very well. He's one of those types who really lives his notes through his instrument, which you can tell from his facial expressions as he executes his equally technically challenging riffs. He takes a few breaks from his instrument to pound on a giant bass-drum that's been set up on his side for added effect, mostly while the rhythm guitarist plays keyboard sequences on the other side.

Bassist & the secondary bass drum

The show has an extremely chilled out vibe, but I have to admit that the band sometimes feel a little awkward in between songs. Instead of talking to people, they are often tuning their guitars in silence, which has an adverse effect on the flow of the show, because it cracks the smooth atmosphere the band have otherwise constructed. But other than that, Maps & Atlases play a good set lasting a little over an hour, where excellent songs like "Remote & Dark Years", "Fever", and many other crowd favorites air, so people leave the venue with a satisfied mood. Nothing spectacular, though.

7

Photos by: Kenny Swan

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