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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

11/27/23 pdf
November 27, 2023

Yves Tumor, Monarch of Experimental Sound, Rocks Boston

Yves+Tumor+takes+over+Roadrunner+on+Oct+5.+Photo+submitted+by+Carmellite+Chamblin.
Yves Tumor takes over Roadrunner on Oct 5. Photo submitted by Carmellite Chamblin.

With “Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds),” Yves Tumor anchors themself against the boundaries of sonic shapeshifting possibilities. Their concert, held at Roadrunner in Brighton, was nothing short of a testament. Tumor puts forth their artistry with every sound, hair flip and back bending move, allowing us entry into a world where each song is a life well-lived. 

Tumor—framed in thick silver cross necklaces, a leather studded vest over a death metal t-shirt, rhinestone sequin leather belts reminiscent of the early aughts, and tight-fitting printed pants—began their setlist with “God is a Circle.” As effortless bending of introspection rage slowly fills the venue, Tumor jolts on stage with a customized hound shaped mic holder. The crowd, small in comparison to Roadrunner’s capacity, helped create an air of intimacy.

The lighting design was spectacular, tuned to every sound, and bathed the stage in ethereal hues that mirrored the distortions of Tumor’s world. The lyrics of “God is a Circle” are an expansive sea, offering insights into the origins of their most personal revelations. Tumor sings, “Sometimes, it feels like / there’s places in my mind that I can’t go / there’s people in my life I still don’t know, yeah / wander ’round, I just feel like a ghost in a well.” 

As Tumor dips the crowd in and out of the records on “Praise a Lord,” they beckon the audience to raise their voice along with them. Eventually, Tumor makes it clear that the night is also an homage to previous songs that solidified their presence as an architect of sounds. Bringing songs from “Safe in the Hands of Love” released in 2018 like “Licking an Orchid,” with soul crushing and devastating lyrics: “Recently I’ve been crying, crying / There’s a pain deep inside, but I’m trying not to lose my / Only baby girl to a toxic world/ I crawled back in our mother’s womb to find a piece of you.”  

At this point in the concert, it is not clear how the audience is faring in Tumor’s interpretative landscape, but it is certain that somewhere in the crowd’s consciousness, they are witnessing Tumor’s most primal desires, where pain and torture paints a deep overpowering mood. At this point in the night, Tumor’s band stuns the crows with their dedication to their craft and Tumor’s vision. The band had incredible chemistry fueling the feeling that this was an unforgettable experience.  

They may have been robbed of “Purified by the Fire,” but for fans, one of the highlights of the concert was witnessing the bassist, Gina Ramirez, enchanting them with her vocals on “Lovely Sewer.” As the concert ended, fans got to see more of Ramirez’s vocal abilities when Tumor closed with “Kerosene!” and “Ebony Eye,” two songs at the heart of the past two records.  

“Kerosene!” brought fans an incredible soaring guitar solo, proof of the band’s ambition to linger in their memories for nights to come under the guise of being a typical rock star experience. Meanwhile, “Ebony Eye” ravishes in Tumor’s reflection to bring fans hauntingly beautiful melodies: “Swing your arms in the October air / Both you and I / A hole in heaven, you’re my dearest dove / We watch the flowers bloom in the house of fools / These passing shadows in photographs of you / Your burning embrace, it’s as warm as rain.”

This concert was a visceral psychedelic transformative experience, and Tumor’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of creativity made it a memorable evening.