This past Wednesday I went to see Black Marble, a band influenced by and dedicated to recreating ‘80s synthwave. As someone who has long been a huge fan of bands like New Order, Black Marble scratches that itch for bassy, synth-based music. The band was touring in support of their most recent album, It’s Immaterial, which was released in 2016 by Ann Arbor-based record label, Ghostly International. Also on the bill was YOU, of Avant! Records, and local band Death Instinct, whose drummer serves me delicious lunch everyday at Pittsburgh’s Market Street Grocery (shout out!).
After braving the first significant snowfall of the year, I made it to Spirit’s downstairs lodge for the show. This is one of my favorite concert venues, as its atmosphere is intimate while offering a variety of seated areas and standing room (the excellent pizza doesn’t hurt either). I walked in during the final few songs from Death Instinct. They set a nice vibe, somewhat reminiscent of Joy Division, yet harder and even more guitar-based. Next up was YOU, who really spaced things out and slowed it down a bit. A three piece, they played a spacy, synth-based set that created a more contemplative vibe in the dark basement.
Black Marble finally took the stage, and almost snuck up there, starting the music out of nowhere. After running through some choice cuts from their newest album, they dipped into their back catalog a bit and started playing songs from my favorite record of theirs, A Different Arrangement. During a lull in between songs, I had started to move toward the backyard to step outside for a moment when the synth and driving bassline of “MSQ No-Extra” filled the room. I promptly jogged to my spot on the floor and stayed transfixed for the rest of their set. Overall, it was a great night of music, and I hope to see more concerts of this style at Spirit soon.