Friday, May 10, 2013
Vietnam and Gap Dream @ Neurolux (5/7/13)
I looked up some information on the band Vietnam prior to this show and grew intrigued. Fond of the Stones and the Velvet Underground, a stint living and playing in Austin, contributions from Jenny Lewis on their self-titled album, hmm. A quick listen to a couple of their songs stirred some reservations, but I still figured that this show would be worth seeing.
I counted about fifteen people when I first got to Neurolux. When the show started, I counted thirty-five. I estimated that the audience peaked at around fifty. Pretty good.
Gap Dream opened the show. I've groused occasionally about the plethora of 60's revivalists, imitators, etc. out there nowadays, but when a group does it right, I ain't gonna complain much. This group did it right. Their lean, smooth rhythm section helped keep their jangling riffs, terse solos and pleasantly plain vocals afloat. While one song sounded like Neil Young gone surfing, another really did sound like the Velvet Underground (less "Venus In Furs," more "Foggy Notion").
Vietnam played next. Their steady tempos, droning violin, misterioso keyboard and clanging, spidery guitars went down quite agreeably. The lyrics weren't bad either, from what I heard--archetypal stuff about walking with devils and such. The only rub was Michael Gerner's grating vocals. Hearing him on record, I get the Dylan/Reed feel he's going for. Hearing him live, I wished he could at least hit the right wrong notes. Still, I dug the solos and the way that their dreamy thunderousness ebbed and flowed. The crowd seemed to also: they moved up close to the stage and cheered loudly throughout.
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