Massive Attack

Massive Attack emerged, and made the stage look small: The two singers appear cramped by the turntables, synthesizers and drums. Calvin Tsingh's voice is dramatic and beautiful. The band dips into the slowest mutations of dance music: hip-hop, reggae, techno. They straddle the line between emotional heat and coldness, never giving in to either. This is the most pensive dance music ever recorded.

Massive Attack emerged, and made the stage look small: The two singers appear cramped by the turntables, synthesizers and drums. Calvin Tsingh’s voice is dramatic and beautiful. The band dips into the slowest mutations of dance music: hip-hop, reggae, techno. They straddle the line between emotional heat and coldness, never giving in to either. This is the most pensive dance music ever recorded.

The packed house, a poor vocal mix and the lack of ventilation created conditions no fan should be forced to suffer. Legion Hall has emerged as a decent enough venue over the last several months, but this show made the generally unbearable Palladium seem comfortable.

Massive Attack

(Legion Hall, Hollywood; 1,000 seats; $ 17.50)

Production: Presented by Goldenvoice. Band: 3d-del Naja, Horace Andy, Mushroom Vowles, Calvin Tsingh. Reviewed July 14, 1995. The intolerable heat inside the Legion Hall made even the simplest swaying an arduous task. And Massive Attack's greatest asset is its way with dramatic snare beat, each song seemingly slower than the last until the pace suddenly lifts. Friday's show was on some levels a success but, in areas beyond the band's control, a miserable experience. The evening started with a deejay spinning deliciously deep dub reggae records. The calm was wickedly disturbed by an Indian percussionist who performed mind-numbingly fast rhythms over synthesized buzzes and washes.

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