Brian McMahon on Maps and Atlases

Written by Brian McMahon and Greg Jones

A few months ago we got a chance to send our friend Brian McMahon (The Great Transparency, Goodnight Wednesday) and his fiancé Sarah Minch to the Maps and Atlases show at Musica in Akron, Ohio.  Here are a few of his thoughts about the band and the show.

Having seen Maps and Atlases as an opener for mewithoutyou at the Grog Shop (Cleveland) years ago, I was excited to hear them again.  I had played their album out and was happy to hear they had a new album.  When I got the chance to see them at Musica, I knew it was going to be a good show.

One of the things I’ve learned over the years being a musician is that often bands aren’t as good live as they are in studio because of the tricks that producers can pull.  For example, often times bands will utilize more instruments on the studio version than actual performers in the band.  As a result sometimes the live performance sounds like its missing something.  With that in mind, what made the Maps and Atlases show so good was that it didn’t lack anything.   For example on their hit, “Fever” the drummer was able to play the extra sound, a woodblock, which totally blew me away.  I thought, “they are doing it live,” which made for an unexpected treat.

My overall assessment of the band is that their performance is just like the album.  Their stage presence was not overwhelming.  They didn’t really have anything flashy.  They just really do a good job with their Indie rock sound.  For example, the track “Silver Self” felt very organic.  There were no drum beats or crazy guitar riffs and it all came together for a good, natural sound.

I really enjoyed Maps and Atlases sound, especially the lead guitarists finger taps, which help make the band’s sound so unique.  “Artichokes” is my favorite song by them, which sounded good at the show.  I guess you could say, since I bought the album, that they did a good job.  I liked the show a lot and am looking forward to following their career.

We hope everyone gets a chance to check out Maps and Atlases, premier Indie rock.  For their upcoming tour dates, click here.

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