Man Forever at the Burlington | Concert preview
Oneida drummer aims to entrance and endure with his latest endeavor.
Like long-distance runners, Oneida excels at feats of endurance. The Brooklyn band demonstrated as much at last year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties in Asbury Park with a marathon eight-hour set. No one’s more deserving of plaudits than band drummer John Colpitts, a.k.a. Kid Millions, who’s taken his stamina to another level with his revolving-door collective Man Forever.
Whereas previous Man Forever performances featured multiple drums pitched a fourth apart, the current touring iteration tightens the conceptual focus (and considerably reduces the amount of gear on stage). Two drummers share one drum, rolling in unison as ambient sheets of synthesizer, bass and guitar coalesce into a mesmerizing drone. The centerpiece of the tour, “Surface Patterns,” one of two tracks on a new Thrill Jockey album, Pansophical Cataract, clocks in at just over 18 minutes. Live, Colpitt aims to stretch that out to 30. An amusing video found online titled “Being Man Forever” lays out the groundwork for Colpitts’s vision—inspired by a chamber rendition of Lou Reed’s divisive 1975 album Metal Machine Music—and doubles as an instructional video for guest players on the group’s current tour.
Some of those players at tonight’s show include local fixtures such as drummer Michael Zerang, guitarist Steve Krakow (a.k.a. Plastic Crimewave) and Tortoise’s Douglas McCombs on bass (whose Brokeback opens up). If all goes according to plan, Colpitt envisions patrons experiencing a catharsis, or as he puts it, “Your mind is blown; you’re sobbing; you’re a broken person trying to pick up the pieces.” Sounds like a dare.