Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blonde Redhead at the Music Box

Blonde Redhead at the Music Box 11/17/10
It should be no surprise after seeing Blonde Redhead at the Glass House and the first night at the Music Box that I would return for one more helping. Penny Sparkle is a compelling synthesizer soaked new direction for Blonde Redhead that in the live format translated into aural enchantment.

A slow pulsating electronic beat kicked off "Black Guitar" as Amedeo Pace softly spoke the opening lyrics. Kazu Makino would take over vocal duties in the middle of the song as she swayed back and forth in a white mask with hair blonde extensions protruding from each side. Amedeo turned his attention to his Virus TI synthesizer for the swirling lushness of "Here Sometimes".

Interweaving "Dr. Strangeluv" into the set got the crowd moving as Makino grabbed her white Gibson SG to add sonic layers to Amedeo's refined guitar playing. Makino soon switched to bass for the ethereal "Love or Prison" that ended in a jazzy drum flurry by Simone Pace. Amedeo would return to the vocals and synthesizers for "Will There Be Stars" with Makino also behind a synthesizer.

Amedeo displayed more of his guitar talents for "In Particular" closing out the song by summoning a scratchy feedback storm to end the song. Urgent piano notes played by Makino wrapped themselves around Amedeo's vocals for "SW". Makino extended her vocal range for the dreamy "Spain" which slithered in the smoke coming from stage.

"My Plants Are Dead" maybe the most minimalist track on the new album but somehow manages to be my favorite song with small musical hooks appearing at the precise moments. Makino would don her mask again for "Penny Sparkle" to close their main set. "23" was a perfect selection for during their encore with its propulsive beat. Covering three nights of Blonde Redhead was definitely worth it and I'm guessing they will come back for a Coachella appearance.

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