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On February 9, 2019, at 6.00pm, the Amity Affliction had their first concert in Los Angeles Theater with the special guest vocalist, Michael Brown. The band recently released the sixth studio album named ‘Misery’ that debuted at number one, thus making it the fourth consecutive album to be able to hit the top spot. The band has been able to release six successful albums and have sold over 145,000 records worldwide. The group is known for their sad lyrics which reflect the past struggles of the Joel Birch with depression and anxiety. The jazz band performed twelve songs collectively during the concert including ‘Don’t Lean on Me,’ ‘Give it All.’ ‘Drag the Lake’ ‘Feels like I am dying,’ ’All Fucked Up’ and ‘Deaths Hand’ were six stylistically dissimilar songs which allowed the audience to have the experience of different kinds of jazz music. Jazz music just like the other genres of music told a story.
Lists of the Song and Composers
‘Don’t Lean on Me’
‘Give it All’
‘Drag the Lake’
‘Feels like am dying’
’All Fucked Up’
Review of the Songs
Joel Birch wrote the “Give it All,’ and he is a multidisciplinary artist who fronts the Amity Affliction band, the band is mainly known for their powerful lyrics that Joel writes. Being the longtime lover of lyricism and literature, Joel has strived for decades to record his emotions in songs. The song “Give it All’, in the instrumental form of the song, the Latin-inspired signaling consonance created the passionate mood at the start of the song. The saxophone and the piano then interchanged the songs tune as like they were swaying like lovebirds flying over to the moon. As the song's passion frenzied up, the melody texture transformed immediately within the melody while the saxophone took the tune plus the piano and the other different devices in the assemblage were in the auxiliary. The tempo progressed continuously, and it appeared to get faster like the heartbeat with the song reaching climax. At this point, the songs dynamics was increasingly becoming louder till all the devices met at the top with a loud boom and altered the song changing aspects again to the level that was moderate till the end of the song.
‘Don’t Lean on Me’ by Joel Birch was the slow beat and consonant waltz. The touch of the song continued the same through the wholeness, and the 1.2.3 patterns were noticeable throughout the song. The electric guitar, trumpet and saxophone alternate in the melody and maintained this way throughout the song and afterward increased through the performance in solos form. Dynamics of the song throughout were soft and also increased to the level that is moderate before a decrescendo to the level that is softer again. The group did an amazing job of maintaining the beat
“Drag the Lake” written by Joel Birch was also played during the night by the whole band plus the guest vocalist Michael Brown. Mr. Brown played the song because in his album called 1999 he had a similar song. Mr. Brown is a music professor at Queensland University. The song started by having the harsh tones within the harmony of the song with the introduction of drums and piano. The song was altered to the more consonant harmony that was maintained throughout the entire song. The songs feel was polyphonic in the middle of the piano and the trumpet. The songs tune was happy and bright in the song and was calming and cool in the other sections of the tempo varying ad the trumpet notes were held for more stress. There were various underlying forces utilized in the song. The song started with the upsurge from soft to loud which continued till the end of the song when then the patterned was interchanged.
’All Fucked Up’ by Joel Birch for me was a romance song from the beginning of the song. It was sexy and passionate displaying dialogue without the usage of words. The band played the song with steadiness and the vocalist Joel Birch gave the extended discussion which appeared like winding and dancing in the moonshine. The piece reminded me of the song, “My Heart Will Go On” because of the instrumental landscape of it provides a story just like when Celine Dion is performing her song. Listening to the piece was an excellent experience and incredible at the start of the concert because it was much familiar to the audience.
‘Tearing Me Apart’ by Joel Birch made me wonder how Joel could write such a boring old-sounding song for a person that they treasured. The piece was pretty though if it was a different genre equated to the other songs that were played in the concert. It is difficult for me to recommend the song to any individual because I think it was dull and did not have depth like the other songs performed throughout the concert.
The song “Feels like I am dying’ was a fantastic song. I was torn between admiring how the band performed with too much passion and even made the song like persona life force or if the songs jog my memory of my childhood days. The song reminded me of the Cosby show whereby Cosby was in one of the jazz clubs. The piece was interesting even though there was too much repetition; I still liked to listen to the alterations over and over again.
The onstage arrangement followed the wind assemblage model. Wind assemblage combines different instruments. In the pool of performances, the composer selected to create unique sonorities (Brennan, 2014). The model is different from the others because of the addition of baritone and saxophones. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?accession=osu1397561909&disposition=inline. Even though most people consider this model to be one player on the part, it is practice in the right chamber of the music. The entire band usually needs tripling and doubling of the clarinet, and the six trumpeters are standard in the wind assemblage. The model is not revolutionary however it develops naturally out of the music which created the concept.
Joel is the composer of most of the Amity Afflictions songs. Also a vocalist, he describes the releasing of the song Let The Ocean Take Me of the as darkest in his career, and he is not exaggerating. He has featured brutal honest songs in the eleven tracks providing the constant snapshot of the man who is desperately affected by depression and alcoholism http://www.theamityaffliction.net/bio. Nevertheless, the description does not give the whole picture because the Band that he is the vocalist is urgent, rousing, accomplished and sonically rich. Joel strives to write better songs compared to the past ones. When listening to the records, one will hear a real roller-coaster of genuine reflection and emotion of each and everything that a person has tried to accomplish throughout his or her career. Joel gets better being a songwriter, and this means beating the last record that he does every time.
When Joel was writing the ‘Let The Ocean Take’, the near-death experience inspired it after he survived when the band was in the Warped Tour in 2013. After a seizure created by the acute alcohol withdrawal, Joel's heart stopped beating, and if he had not been found in the state on time, he would have died http://www.theamityaffliction.net/bio. After recovering from this, he was faced with the damage not just to him personally but to the people around him and the song provided him with the opportunity to release the emotions that were affecting him. However, this is the usual case with the people who are affected by depression; it is mostly unknown to the people who are around them. He explained that it was life was becoming better as a band, but he was suffering internally.
After completing writing ‘This Could Be Heartbreak’ plus the emergence of the emotional collapse, Joel started attending the meeting of the Alcoholics Anonymous. With his wife’s support and the band members, he began rebuilding, and he became proud of the songs that he wrote and the way it assists in changing his life http://www.theamityaffliction.net/bio. Having a newborn, it provided him with a new way of viewing, and he felt more optimistic than before. Joel has had a unique connection with the followers of the band who message him concerning their individual stories of mental illness struggles, and he hoped that the This Could Be Heartbreak could provide some sense of release to the followers who experienced the same problem as him
The Amity Affliction concert in Los Angeles Theater was an excellent evening filled with good music and mentally stimulating music experiences which I would not have to listen to if we had not been provided with the task. Diversification is a significant lesson for one to learn when listening to music as all the music has the origins from the different category and by recognizing this it makes a person diversified.
Brennan, John Michael. Show Design and Wind Arranging for Marching Ensembles. Diss. The Ohio State University, 2014.
Los Angeles Theatre. The Amity Afliction Concert. Los Angeles Theatre. 2019.
The Amity Affliction. Bio. The Amity Affliction (2019).http://www.theamityaffliction.net/bio
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