02 November 2008

Apollo Sunshine, Wax Fang @ Beat Kitchen

I managed to make it out for Apollo Sunshine one night on my business trip out to Chicago a couple of weeks ago. I felt pretty lucky that one of my favorite bands, and a band that doesn't seem likely to hit upstate NY anytime soon, was playing in town while I was there. There were actually quite a few, as in many many, good shows going on the few days I was there. This show was a good bet because it started late enough that I knew it would not be a problem making the show, and also a show I was sure would not sell out so I wouldn't need to worry about advance tickets or anything.

I arrived at the Beat Kitchen (a smaller version of NYC's Mercury Lounge, I thought) shortly into Wax Fang's opening set. They not only share a hometown with My Morning Jacket, but their drummer was very similar to Patrick Hallahan, both hair-wise and playing-wise. I dug most of what I heard from these guys, definitely a band I would like to check out again and will keep my eye on. A trio, they aren't afraid to include some subtle electronics and looping into the mix, and and they execute it very well. Good energy, good tunes, and some great playing from all three. Glad I made it in to see them.

Apollo Sunshine are a band that just grows and grows and grows on you. The better you know them, the better the experience gets. They are a ton of fun live, and are amazing about keeping it fresh. Even if the setlists don't change up too much, even when you know what to expect, they still come out and grab you, and shake you, and knock you silly. Riding high off the release of their new album, Shall Noise Upon, they came right out of the gates and played the first 3 songs off the album in order. Sounded good, but definitely needs some more road deconstruction and distressing. They don't necessarily jam all that much so much as devolve the music into straight up noise. Albeit beautiful beautiful noise. (Shall noise upon?) At one point, birthday boy (who shared his vegan birthday cake with the crowd--see video below) and most-of-the-time bass player Jesse Gallagher played nearly an entire tune with effects knobs.
He shows he can hold down a bass line but chooses more often to fly off the handle, off-beat, off-kilter, a bass-popping madman. Even during their funky cover of William Onyeabor's Better Change Your Mind, he can't help but untie the tightness of the funk knot and let loose. Sam Cohen doesn't fare much better in keeping to the script. They just throw the rules of a rock show out the window, and it sounds oh so good. Meanwhile, the under-appreciated Jeremy Black is keeping it all together somehow on his kit. I imagine Apollo Sunshine is not for everyone, but give them a chance or three, and hopefully it sticks.

Stage list is below, though Bach definitely got moved to after Lord, and Phyllis closed the set. They came back on and encored with Brotherhood of Death. Might have been a couple of others not listed in there as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

shall noise upon is an anagram of the band name
SHall NoISE UpoN