Having listened to the new “Wilderness Of Mirrors” album, I was primed for the show. I arrived shortly after doors opened and was delighted to find room at the front of the stage still. I glued myself there.
The opening band I have to confess gave off a vibe a little bit like Ross and his music as they were checking instruments. This one’s for you Cindy !
Just 2 guys, a guitar (Jared Artaud) and a bank of electronics, plus, one cymbal (Brian MacFadyen).
By the end of the first song “Departure” which included liberal use of the cymbal, I was into it. The guitar was a bit hard to hear from where I was at but when I did hear it it was jangly and driven. Good stuff. They traded vocals and the boom from the keyboard beats was intense. Below you see Brian keyboarding and smashing that cymbal for all it was worth.
They made as much use of the space that they had in between all The Black Angels gear. Jared came down front for some shredding.
Their set was short, but sweet. The opening song “Departure” is not on any of their albums (bummer) but you can find a remix version of it on Bandcamp.
Then after a stage makeover, The Black Angels sauntered out.
Christian was all the way on the other side, Stephanie behind him, Alex in the middle and Jake and Ramiro right in front of me. The lighting was horrific for photos (probably need to try my night site camera) but I got as many as I could.
They opened with “Without A Trace” from the new album and we were off! They were sounding fantastic and throughout I was surprised at all the instrument changes. I had never noticed before how everyone played multiple instruments. Ramiro, who was directly in front of me played bass, electric guitar (both 6 and 12 string) keys and even some harmonica.
I’ve seen The Black Angels twice before, but it was admittedly cool to be down front and see Alex’s expressions as he sang.
And he picked up a bass for a bunch of songs.
It was tough to get a good shot of Jake, he was behind a keyboard bank in front of me most of the show. I held my phone over my head to get this one.
It was equally hard to get a shot of Stephanie crushing the drums as she was behind Alex and his stand. This was the best I could do. I leaned forward over the stage to get this one. I had a panic as I pulled back and dragged a cord with me. I would have hated to cut someone’s sound. Fan boy faux pas.
They ran through all the classics and some new stuff and the show was amazing.
I freaked out the people behind me to get a shot of me and Alex.
The thing I think I didn’t realize about the band before I saw them up close like this is that it wasn’t about shredding solos, it was about the beats and rhythms. Though Christian did whip out some short solos, it was very subtle and the layers or bass and the pounding drums were able to reach into you and make you bob your head to the waves of sound.
There were a few sound textures and lots and lots of echo and delay in the music which sent me into a daze. Love it.
When the show was over the frenzy for set lists reached a crescendo and I decided to stay out of it. However the guy next to me got one and let me take a photo.
It was a great show!
I was able to get a copy of “Passover” at the show. I ended up with a shirt too, and 2 stickers.
NOW my Black Angels vinyl collections is complete! Though I don’t have the EP’s, but am going to let that go.
So the show, the merch… it was all good. Excellent in fact.