Mono @ Bentley Music Auditorium

Lo and behold the breathtaking transcendence of a lifetime. From near and afar, music gatherers alike joined forces in cheering upon the arrival of Mono, Japanese post-rock/instrumental/experimental masters of melody mayhem, on a particular Saturday night recently. From as early as two hours prior to the concert, fans anxiously waited outside Bentley Auditorium, entertained by the passionate commotion of their sounds in between walls during the soundcheck, all the while banking in their proudly owned merchandise sold exclusively outside the venue.

Text Alyssa Ryan Iman

Image Soundscape Records

Taking the stage by their cinematic storm, Akta Angkasa thundered through their brief, yet impressively credible opening set with ‘Mukadimah!’ and ‘Kognitif’. To soldier through such an indescribable charge of energy came Citizens of Ice Cream, a close compatriot to Akta Angkasa, with whom they have shared stages previously. Don’t take their name for a ride, as the band could melt you away with their shoegazing sounds. With two up-and-coming big names whose sounds literally lived up to their christening, it was very unfortunate that Furniture didn’t quite deliver what the hopefuls had longed to hear. Their usual peace-conjuring, wonder-embedding performance somehow didn’t quite deliver through what seemed to be a long, torturous set. Or perhaps, the fans had been waiting too long for the emergence of the band they came for, they just couldn’t bear another minute without such familiar sight.

Finally, after what seemed to be the longest interval, the crowd went wild upon seeing
Mono’s mad genius, Takaakira Goto on stage, all geared up and ready to smack your faces with his famed mad skills on his fav Fender Jazzmaster. Ready to charm her masses, Tamaki Kunishi was in her element, almost ignoring the wild chants calling out for her, while Yoda found his comfortable seat right away, looking like he almost kick started the show on his own. Not forgetting the drum master, Yasunori Takada, whom the crowd swore was in his own little fantasy world, creating wonders one can only dream of.

And so the magical adventure was embarked upon, with ‘Ashes in the Snow’ burning up in the air, before the band invited the faithful to ‘Follow the Map’ leading towards ‘Burial at Sea’ to show how ‘Pure as Snow’ their raw sounds are. Marrying the intensity and dynamics of the unit, they then mellowed down on ‘Sabbath’, and delivered their ‘Yearning’, until the band eventually, unwillingly of the fans, concluded the show with ‘Moonlight’.

However much of their extensive manipulation of reverb distortion and delay effects, and an eminent experimentation of noise and minimalism; the lighting and sound system didn’t quite do the band justice. It didn’t do all the acts fairly justice thereto. Despite fans breathing wows of wonders, there were wicked whispers that this set didn’t live up to their KLPac set masterpiece back in January 2010. Nevertheless, there was still a lot of love for Soundscape Records, the label responsible for bringing the band to our shores thrice, who were simultaneously celebrating their 10th glorious anniversary of contributive existence in our local music industry. So to Soundscape, here’s to 10 more rocking years!

Mono rocked on 7 May 2011 @ Bentley Music Auditorium. Post-rockin flashes at our gallery.