Boris at Lincoln Hall

By Thomas Kikuchi

17 Sep, 2019

There are many times we find ourselves in spaces that we are not ready to be in. No matter how many times we go over in our heads the expected outcome of said environments, nothing is ever as predictable as it may seem. We can always overcome expectations in many ways, whether we aim to truly blindside someone with unpredictable behavior, or we prove ourselves with years of technique and musical intuition that attracts listeners. However, with both Boris and Uniform, their true beauty comes from their sheer and raw power.

Often times we may forget the physicality of music. Most of the effective songs and artists we like do a good job at subtly entering our space and sticking with us as we go throughout our day. Even at concerts, we go to hear music for the music, and I find that truly effective performers break down our spatial awareness and transport us into another space entirely made up of their music. Yet, it’s during the absence of this subtlety that Boris and Uniform aim to create a similar experience.

Uniform started off their set with an ear-piercing shrill that resonated through your body as the three-piece asserted their presence in the room. I feel like with Uniform, I wasn’t so much transported into a different mode of thinking, rather I was so present with the space and my surroundings that I was completely overwhelmed. Uniform took hold of me and the rest of the crowd, all cramped into the small venue of Lincoln Hall, and refused to lose our focus. This feeling was grounding and brought up a lot of anxieties that I had been working through, intentionally or not. 

Boris’s stage presence is something that one must experience while they still have the chance. Their calm, methodical, and low drones resonate deep within your core. There’s a structure to their performance, as each consecutive note feels more powerful than the last. The anticipation of being lost in a wall of sound progresses throughout your body until you finally lose all sense of surroundings, all rewarded with one solid downstroke.  

When we resist the efforts of music to take control of our bodies, it can be a very taxing experience. Sometimes we refuse to surrender ourselves to the vibrations because of various aspects in our lives that have already taken its spot. Boris is a reminder that music can just simply take that by force, and there may not be much you can do about it. The physical space that you occupy, the social aspects that fill it, and what you bring to the table can all be swamped into a hegemony of sound and power. Boris is loud and unrelenting, and their physical pull onto the stage is almost supernatural. There is almost no preparation that you can do; rather, you should be ready to be forced somewhere else.