1. God Bless our Dead Marines
2. Take These Hands and Throw Them in the River
3. Blind, Blind, Blind
4. America Motor Over Smoldering Fields
5. Ring Them Bells (Freedom has Come and Gone)
6. One Million Died to Make This Song
I'm not sure if I would ever label myself a critic; however, if I was to take on that role, there wouldn't be much to critique about Silver Mt. Zion's performance last night. Although Efrim Menuck set himself up for some awful audience response, when he asked the crowd if "anyone had anything to say," it did seem to keep everyone quiet outside of that designated time. Some of the jaw-dropping quotes of the evening were "Fuck Bush" (wow, yeah we don't like Bush - but who thinks that is original, effective, not cliche?), "Art is God" (another deep thought from a drunk in the back), and "We've been here since 11AM" (that's nobodies fault but your own).
Silver Mt. Zion is both politically charged, and strategically ambiguous when they create music, giving them a perfect balance of societal and personal emotion. Calling everyone an "American Idiot" just doesn't hit me the same way as " Oh! To live! In a burning house With burning children eating dust And finger-painting flags Smoke pours out of their eyes They're praying and saluting. They're all hanged up."
The music is incredibly moody, both lyrically and instrumentally; however, it evokes passion out of me, not hopelessness. Efrim references birds a lot, which I always connect to Silver Mt. Zion's constant reaching upward. Each song grasps for the heavens. They're not sure if anybody is waiting for them up there, but they're not afraid to try.
The stage setup was a piece of art in itself. Two nymph violinists flanked the ouside corners of the stage, as Efrim and second guitarist faced each other in the center. In the back a semi circle of drums, stand up bass and cello, completed the seven piece. In every aspect Silver Mt. Zion was a unified whole.
This is Silver Mt. Zion's first US tour, and it better not be their last.
[mp3] The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band - God Bless Our Dead Marines
[mp3] The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band - Blind, Blind, Blind (live)