Sunday, March 3, 2013

Maserati, Dark Swallows and Red Hands Black Feet @ Neurolux; Lost Weekend and Hedtriip @ the Red Room (2/28/13)

I hadn't heard much about Maserati, which would have given me reason enough to check them out.  The fact that they hailed from Athens, GA made them look promising, however.  So did the presence of local bands Dark Swallows and Red Hands Black Feet on the bill.

I counted about thirty people when I got down to Neurolux.  By the time that Maserati took the stage, the crowd had built to about a hundred.

Red Hands Black Feet opened the show.  I was glad to see them here since I'd been thinking about passing on their Treefort set this year (hey, it's not like I won't get to see 'em again, right?).  Anyway, this set gave me the opportunity to reflect again on just how far this band has come.  They've grown so comfortable and confident in their playing that this night's performance took on a certain stately grandeur.  It was as if the songs had become aware of their own greatness.  This doesn't mean that they sounded staid, however: some extra distortion and guitar embroidery here and some supple drumming there helped keep the older material fresh. The music was powerful enough on its own, but some flickering, twirling lights upped the intensity level another notch.

Great.  I might HAVE to see them at Treefort now.

Dark Swallows played next.  My eyebrow raised a little at the trumpet on their opener, but other than that, their somber tunes and their web of droning, howling guitars sounded as rousing and hypnotic as ever.  Maybe even more so, actually, thanks to the extra limberness in the bass and drums and the increased power in the vocals.  Mournful, fierce, beautiful.

Maserati closed out the night at Neurolux.  Rare is the group that can fuse Ministry with James Brown.  This band's percolating synth tracks, mind-warping guitars, sly basslines and ferocious, indomitable drums left me confused over whether to headbang or dance.  The crowd up front started off with a bit of the former but shifted more to the latter as the torrents of beats pounded into them.  Techno meets metal meets New Wave meets funk.  Stunning.

After Maserati finished, I staggered over to the Red Room to see if I could catch some of the show there.  I counted a little under forty people when I arrived.  Not too great, but not too bad.  At least the Maserati show didn't suck up all the show-goers/substance abusers this night.

I managed to catch the tail-end of electro-pop group Lost Weekend's set.  What I heard was definitely enough to make me wish I'd caught more.  Light, soulful vocals glided over layers of glimmering synth hooks and hard-driving beats.  Their songs were as catchy and dance-inducing as anything I've heard by, say, the Killers.  What's more, consultation with their Bandcamp recordings revealed some pretty sharp lyrics.  This band may hail from Winnipeg, but hopefully, we'll see them around here again.

Twin Falls electro-rock act Hedtriip closed out the night at the Red Room.  He seemed to have some technical difficulties early on, but once he sorted those out, his driving, intricate beats and riffs sounded as enjoyable as I remembered.  His set also featured new material that included--gasp!--vocals.  Should go over well at Treefort, I imagine.

You can find info on these acts on Facebook and elsewhere online.  Special thanks to Eric Gilbert and Duck Club Presents.

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