It was a celebration of L.A. Records 25th issue release party at the Echoplex. It turned out to be a celebration of fuzz pedals, Orange Amps and the psychedelic rock. The stunning line up of The Phantom Friendly Halo, Entrance, Darker My Love and Dead Meadow brought out the time machine and the kaleidoscope of swirling colors to take the crowd for a nice trip.
The Phantom Halo Friendly started things out shrouded in darkness. So much darkness in fact, that none of my pictures turned out that well. Their music was a swirl of the hypnotic rock augmented by keyboards and trippy guitar effects. The guitarist must have been supported by Moog as he was wearing a Moog shirt and had 3 Moog pedals in his setup. The lead singer pulled double duty as the drummer and played the drums standing up. Their new album "The Legend Of The Black Six" was just released on July 31st.
This marks the third time I have seen Entrance now (they opened for Stephen Malkmus at the El Rey and the Glass House). At the El Rey show, Guy Blakeslee (Guitars/Vocals) broke a string in the middle of his set which threw off their performance. At the Glass House, they were playing in the groove and sounded significantly better. On this particular night, Guy was roaming the stage before their performance muttering that his amp sounded bad and his pedals weren't working. Guy was agitated about his setup and looked timid before playing. Then a switch flipped and Guy was a stage commanding performer playing dazzling guitar riffs recalling Jimi Hendrix with his flipped to the left and reversed Fender Cyclone. Entrance had the whole audience bobbing their heads in approval. Derek James(Drums) was doing his best to summon John Bonham while Paz Lenchantin(Bass) was doing ballerina moves in her bare feet while playing a Fender bass thru a small Mesa Boogie Bass amp. Guy was using a Boss RC-20 loop station coupled with his Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb to take the audience on a groovy trip. If you want your mind blown, go see them at Safari Sams on August 3th.
Darker My Love were the main draw for me as I still can't get enough of the sheets of fuzz and Gibson Hollowbody bass lines that they produce. They are in the midst of recording their sophomore album and are starting to play a few live dates in the meantime. They opened with a new song "Blue Day" that had a funky, sexy sixties jam that sounded like it could have been from a Cheech and Chong movie. The poor sound mix at the Echoplex struck again as I could barely hear the vocals at all. Will Canzoneri (Organ/Clavinet) had a new addition to his sound with a Hohner Clavinet that added some shades of color to their thick sound. "Fresh Cream" was another new song that had them shouting the title of the song in the refrain. Jared had his Guild Hollowbody guitar howling like usual and Andy Granelli(Drums) was producing earthquakes of percussion. The set again seemed super short at thirty two minutes but I guess it is because I am used to two and half hour Smashing Pumpkin shows. I await their new album impatiently.
Darker My Love setlist for the Echoplex (7/29/07)
"What's A Man's Paris?"
"Summer Is Here"
I didn't stay for Dead Meadow unfortunately but I heard it was an alarming affair. Reid over at Inflight at Night has more details if you are curious. Dead Meadow is now embarking on a U.K. tour and I will catch them when they return.