Friday, October 30, 2009
Update [Oct 31/09, 5:50 pm]: Review now below. Happy Halloween!
Halloween has always been a holiday which draws me to music that isn't necessarily Halloween-themed but is of a particular mood that makes it a good soundtrack. The double-bill of Austin's The Black Angels and Danish band The Raveonettes who played the Phoenix Concert Theatre about a week ago would have made one of helluva of Halloween show in my opinion.
Openers, Austin 5-piece The Black Angels performed a setlist that sounded like a murky stew of psychedelia, drone-rock and The Velvet Underground. Backed with a rhythmic drum stomp, woozy surf guitar tones, and casually-cast vocals, the band played on stage bled mostly in red light, fitting illumination given the sonic aesthetics.
Danish rockers The Raveonettes, on the heels of their newest album "In & Out of Control", came on stage with a good amount of fanfare from the audience but delved almost immediately into their set. Frontman Sune Rose Wagner decked out in a black-and-white striped shirt and slim trousers and bassist Sharin Foo wearing a 60's influenced black mini dress traded off lead vocals as well as singing together through a balanced setlist that as expected focused on the new album as well as their previous effort 2007's "Lust Lust Lust". The setlist also included a few songs from each of their earlier releases, "Whip It On", "Chain Gang Of Love" and "Pretty In Black". With reverb-drenched pop songs mingling with more sinister-sounding garage rock tracks, the band plodded through the set with nary a word. Close your eyes and you'd get drawn in to the ambiance of it all, but otherwise they aren't the most visually enticing band to watch on stage, Sharin Foo notwithstanding. However, there were moments of visual stimulation, especially later in on the set as the strobe lights kicked in and the band dove into episode of guitar dissonance. Fittingly, the band ended the night on the uptempo pop magnificence of "The Great Love Sound", a shining light relative to the overall darker-toned setlist.
As a soundtrack to Halloween, The Black Angels and The Raveonettes were particularly fitting. Some bands are just not meant to play during the day, so as Halloween night is upon us, put on a Raveonettes or Black Angels tune and enjoy.
Photos: The Raveonettes, The Black Angels @ Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto (October 22, 2009)
Myspace: The Black Angels
Myspace: The Raveonettes