Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Horrors at the Detroit Bar

This was an interesting night to say the least. I was prepared to head down to Costa Mesa for the Horrors at the Detroit Bar when I got a phone call asking if I could jet up to Gibson Amphitheater to cover Pearl Jam for OC Weekly. I thought that it was possible to catch both shows in one night. Could I pull it off?

Japanese Motors

I literally took a handful of shots as the Japanese Motors finished their set. They opened for all the West Coast dates for The Horrors and will be back at the Detroit Bar on December 4th opening for Drummer.

The Horrors

I was shellshocked the first time I saw The Horrors supporting their new album Primary Colours at the Henry Fonda Theatre with The Kills. I didn't have enough time to properly digest their new album and was expecting a show similar to when I saw them at the El Rey theatre.

During their tour in support of Strange House, The Horrors went over the top with confrontational performances that involved Faris Badwan (Vocals) rubbing black makeup on the faces of the audience members as well as jumping into the audience and wreaking havoc. Nowadays, Faris is fairly stoic on stage with the exception of a few erratic movements to punctuate the songs.

Primary Colours is an excellent album and doesn't require over the top theatrics. The songs speak for themselves. A bass line very reminiscent of the Stone Roses and puffs of smoke filled the Detroit Bar as the Horrors churned out "Mirror's Image". The smoke started to fill stage as the dense sheets of noise of "Three Decades" poured over the audience.

Joshua Third (Guitars) took over the sonic reigns with his sliding guitar riff of "Do You Remember".Tomethy Furse (Synthesizers) was behind a Moog Voyager and triggered the hypnotic sound patches for "Scarlet Fields". "I Only Think of You" had a dirge like quality as Joseph Spurgeon (Drums) kicked the bass drum like a dying heartbeat. "Sea Within A Sea" rightfully closed their main set with equal parts haunting guitars and bass but the arpeggiated synthesizer line is the biting hook of the song.

One of the things that threw me off when I saw them at the Henry Fonda was the omission of their older material. This was remedied when the Horrors came back for the encore of a fiery "Count In Fives" that spawned a mosh pit in front of the stage. "Sheena Is A Parasite" whipped everyone into a frenzy with its skull drilling bass line. "Gloves" continued to stir the mosh pit as the energy level at the Detroit Bar quickly doubled. I couldn't help but think that the Horrors are pulling a Jekyll and Hyde on the audience. What will they come up with next?

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