The Best Gig I Ever Saw: L.A. duo sym fera (whose identities are kept under wraps) told us about their Roger Waters and Bon Iver experiences.
Vocalist: Off the top of my head, Roger Waters’ concert at Desert Trip in Palm Springs in 2016 really stands out. The rest of the bill: The Stones, Paul McCartney, The Who, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young. Even if Pink Floyd had resurrected with all original members in their prime, they weren’t in my top four artists on this bill alone. You can imagine I wasn’t necessarily expecting a dark horse. McCartney was McCartney, perfect pitch and all. The Stones were everything you wanted the Stones to be. But Waters’ show, as a pure visual spectacle, was just so different, so dramatic and unique, it’s hard to call it a concert at all. It was more like an immersive film with a live score. I hesitate to include details because I think it needs to be seen, but suffice it to say the screen behind him looked like it was quite literally the length of a football field. And then of course, there were the songs we all know, and the thousands of people chanting the words together. It was like I had been taken in by a cult or a megachurch as a true believer. And I mean that as a high compliment.
Producer: Bon Iver, YouTube Theater October 2021, easily. I remember I bought tickets the second it went on sale. Bon Iver always puts on beautiful shows, but this was a show where you were going to hear and see the art performed in the way the artist originally intended. The room was newly designed with an Immersive PA perfectly tuned to those speakers (which inspired us to use Quadrophonic audio at our own showcase). The visuals were the same as most of the shows they had done for the years leading up to the pandemic, but sonically it was just perfect. You heard the audio in the way the stage was laid out. It was all around you, you were surrounded. I guess this kind of gives away how the both of us work. I’m the sonic curator, my partner is the visual one.
Sym fera’s self-titled debut EP is out now.