When SevenCollar T-Shirt and Laguna Music organised ‘A SevenCollar Sonique Cinematique’ their first seated live show at The Actors Studio in 2007, it was said to be one of the best live shows by a local band that year.Â 3 years later, both band and label organised The Battle Protocol, a 2-night show at KLPAC, to end a nationwide tour promoting Seven Collar’s latest album, The Great Battle. Brave effort at times where no one attends shows if it’s not free, but it’s a tried and tested method for these boys, as Sonique Cinematique was a sold out show.
Text Ili Farhana
SevenCollar T-Shirt is made up of perfectionists, so we expected nothing less for The Battle Protocol. With help from some musician friends including talented singer-songwriter Yuna, SevenCollar performed a 19-song set, divided intoÂ 4 acts, with an intermission. It’s interesting to note that The Great Battle was played entirely and in order, intertwined with tracks from Drones, the band’s 2nd effort.
The introduction of the show saw the band performing with the percussion unit which made the opening song ‘TET Offensive’ sounded larger than life. Then they moved onto the second scene, changing the feel dramatically with a theremin, keyboard and a synthesizer. ‘Fibres’ can never sound anymore heartbreaking than that night.
SceneÂ 3 came in after the 10 minute intermission with a slight change of stage set up, and saw SevenCollar performing acoustic with a string quartet. The ever-so-lovely Yuna came in to perform ‘In Hiding (Like A Child)’ and later joined in for ‘The Foreigner.’ In the last scene of The Battle Protocol, SevenCollar called in the percussion unit again and ended the night with the mellow ‘Lights.’
However,Â I thinkÂ I expected too much asÂ I left the venue thinking that it could be so much more. There were minor technical glitches here and there, but it’s all forgiven.Â Friends felt the concert lacked communication or a climax of some sort. Or maybe deep inside I was really expecting an encore in the form of tracks from debut album, Freeway, Dreaming & Broke.
But then again it’s clear that SevenCollar has really grown up to be a different band from their Freeway days. The Battle Protocol is somewhat the pinnacle of The Great Battle – The Concept. Right from the start, SevenCollar T-shirt’s mind-blowing 3rd album felt like a story and later extended like an ongoing work of art: from the album inlay which was designed minimal yet impactful, then the same art direction was used for the video clip for ‘Wild Child’, and if you look closely, the set and lighting for The Battle Protocol walks along the same path. Accompanying all that, a ‘uniform’ for the bandâ€”all black attire and white shoes.
All in all, The Battle Protocol was certainly not without flaws but there were all small enoughÂ to stillÂ raise the bar for local concerts. Kudos should really be given to the whole idea of SevenCollar T-Shirt’s The Great Battle as a concept – from the concept album to concept shows. That’s something that has not been done by any local artist yet. The anti-climatic ending to the concert? Well, that’s because that’s not quite the ending yet, right guys?