Sonically, Russian Circles, Eagles of Death Metal and Mastodon share little with one another. But Monday night at the Fillmore Auditorium, the three bands found common ground with a crowd of earnest, hungry music fans who greeted all three acts with enthusiasm
Chicago’s Russian Circles, the least well-known of the performers, opened with the strongest set. While compared to other instrumental acts like Red Sparowes and Explosions in the Sky, Russian Circles set themselves apart by composing abstract, dense and challenging pieces. As a three-piece, the burden of re-creating the group’s recorded sound live relies heavily on guitarist Mike Sullivan, who loops riffs through amps and pedals, creating texture, dynamics and volume generally reserved for bands with double Russian Circles’ members. Playing songs largely from 2016’s Guidance, Russian Circles played a tight and cohesive set, thanks in large part to the rhythm section – drummer Dave Turncrantz and bassist Brian Cook. Turncrantz, who always hits hard and accurately, sealed his reputation as one of the most talented and unique drummers playing heavy music.
Full list of Russian Circles dates here.