First, I will just say, incredible show from start to finish.
When I entered the theater I was greeted by Angélica Garcia, standing alone on the stage in front of an SP404. It wasn’t long before wispy, ethereal vocal loops floated between audience heads, and a solemn, driving, four on the floor kick shook my ribcage all the way to the crypt. I don’t know if it’s because Halloween is around the corner or what, but the spooky vibes were strong and it was perfect. Her voice soared like bats through some grand canyon, draped in dramatic delays that inspired feelings of horror and awe at the contemplation of the sublime, like being dwarfed under the jurisdiction of some great spirit. A really lovely synthesis of influences from dream pop and minimal Eastern European electronica to reggaeton, with plenty of unplaceable personal touches weaved in. And in addition to all the aesthetic wonder, these songs were grooving! Definitely inspiration to dance. The power of her voice and her stage presence really left me wondering when the headlining tour is, I can’t wait.
Although that is absolutely NOT to say that I would want anyone else to headline this show. Blonde Redhead walked right out, picked up their instruments and vaporized the venue.
It was perfect. In my life before this show Blonde Redhead had taken on a slightly mythic form in my mind, they’re one of those bands that harken strongly towards the shoegaze greats without just being another shoegaze/dreampop group that melts numbly (but comfortably) into the rest. Their use of tension I think is one of the things that sets them apart from the rest, and it was on a full, beautiful display Tuesday night. Endlessly interesting syncopated drumming crashed into the droning waves of dissonant guitar while Maniko and Pace’s voices hovered, shimmering like low clouds over the sea. No matter what instrument you focused on there was lots to appreciate, from dusty, obscure synth organs to those drums that just wire straight into the brain. Oh and of course the violin-like vocals were gorgeous and chilling while embracing in melodies from the new album so well crafted they felt like I had been familiar for years.
So, yeah a wonderful show that I will definitely be remembering. Beautiful aesthetics and skilled and creative instrumentation and performance all around. These two aren’t necessarily the most obvious pairing, such a strong guitar band with an electronically produced sample and loop heavy act, and I think it works to illustrate both artists’ strengths. Very creative stuff that synthesizes a wide range of things, packed skillfully into whatever genre perceived at the surface. Next time I’ll bring my camera so I don’t have to rip from their instagram. See them if you can!