buttonBulssazo @ Bowie Seoul (24th May '08)

Fuck Being Rock Stars

      A good-sized crowd filed into Bowie for Bulssazo's first concert since January. An open concept art space, the kitschy subterrain venue was adorned with candles, Christmas lights, and a mirror ball that hung above the floor space where the Seoul trio set up shop.

      Illuminated only by the mirror ball's small circles of slowly spinning lights, guitarist Sangchul Han and bassist Myunghoon Seo turned and faced drummer Young-il Ko while performing. Few acts would have the courage to play in near darkness with their backs to the audience, and even less could make it work, but tonight's show was about sharing great music, not being pretentious rock stars.

      Having released two discs on Seoul's Pastel Music, Pastel Music, Bulssazo opted to neglect their past work in favour of new material that has been penned since the hard-hitting Ko joined the group. The night's opening untitled number started off quietly before morphing into a blistering wall of sound that was driven by Han's double necked guitar. Seated at Han's and Seo's feet, attendees quietly nodded along to the awesome, melodic post rock being turned out.

      There was no between song banter as Bulssazo opted to let the half dozen epic instrumental cuts speak for themselves. The lack of talking didn't seem to phase the crowd who eagerly roared their praise as each loud track faded out. Standng still for the first part of the set, Han became more animated as the concert progressed, trashing around a bit and falling to his knees while banging away on his instrument.

      After throwing a cover by Japan's Te' into the mix, the band ended their too-short 30-minute set with "Farmer From Hell". With high school chums Han and Seo standing side-by-side, Bowie was soon filled with awe-inspiring waves of distorted guitar noise that brought smiles to the faces of all. Calls for an encore as the lights came on went unheeded, but fortunately someone had the good sense to put a on My Bloody Valentine CD, which perfectly complimented the shoegaze-influenced sounds that had been presented.

      Bulssazo's next gig will be supporting Tokyo's Envy at Rolling Hall in Seoul on July 18. A stellar pairing, their music will match up very nicely with Envy's unique hardcore-infused post-rock making the bill a must-see gig for all underground rock enthusiasts in Seoul and its surrounding areas.

report and photos by shawn

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