When I go to a show these days there are a few things I look for in the band that’s on stage. First is the music. Do the bands have the ability to transition their music from their album to a live setting? Second is their performance. Do the bands really give it their all and let the music and their art take over to allow them to unleash that inner beast? Third is the lasting effect. When the band is done are you left in awe over what you just saw or are you left feeling meh? Now some might consider this criteria as elitist but, when you’ve been to as many shows as I have and seen the amount of bands I have, you need to be able to see through the bands that really have it and don’t. Friday night at the Silverlake Lounge was quite the eclectic mix of bands and music and all three bands I was there to see brought something different to the stage.
The first band of the night was Old Blood. I wasn’t very familiar with them until recently but I’ve heard good things, so naturally I was very curious to see them live. Musically they take the “stoner/doom rock” vibe and mix with a bit of jazz which makes for something a bit different. Their live show takes that element and adds a bit of a theatrical cabaret twist to it via their singer. Maybe it’s just me but, after the first couple of songs, it started to become a bit of the same. Now I get what they were trying to do and it did work for a few songs but, after a while it just became stagnant. There was no movement from any other member on stage which in turn translated to a lack of delivery. They are a bunch of great players and as a band were quite tight but the stand still nature of everyone really took away from what could have been a killer performance. All the theatrical nature though really does provide a “show” and Old Blood really delivered on that aspect.
Next up was With Our Arms To The Sun. I will continue to say this about them, if you go on stage before or after them, you best bring all you’ve got because you are going to get blown off the stage. With out at doubt, With Our Arms To The Sun are one of THE BEST live bands I’ve seen in quite some time. They play with such a great deal of passion that it oozes from them on stage. It’s as though the sweatier they get the harder they play. Their set consisted of songs from their critically acclaimed albums A Far Away Wonder and Orenda as well as a brilliant cover of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.” One song in partucualr that they played (and I’ve wanted to hear live since I heard Orenda) was “Regret: Sailing Stones.” There is something really gripping about that song and now that it’s part of their live set, when you hear it live, you’ll understand what I mean. With Our Arms To The Sun are the real deal live. I would urge you to go see them live when they come through your town.
The final band of the night was Interstelar. When I first started Audioeclectica, and came across Interstelar, I was hooked on them and I’ve been really looking forward to finally seeing them live. They have that sludge/stoner rock down to a science with a nice tinge of blues and vocally they have something really cool. Singer/guitarist Jason Kothmann has this really cool Maynard meets Ian Astbury of The Cult vocal style that fits the music perfectly. The line up of Kothmann, Gary Gladson (Lead Guitar), P.J. McMullan (Drums), and Joe Puccio (Bass) is seriously out of this world. Playing songs off their recent and extremely cool album Resin, these four rip through each song with a great deal of passion. Songs like “Silo,” “Resin,” and “High Horse” really shined and proved what a great band Interstelar really is.
All in all it was a great night for live music. Each band brought something different to the stage. It seemed like everyone in attendance this evening was really into it, which for a Los Angeles crowd is almost impossible. Do yourselves a favor and check out each of these bands and expand your musical palate.
By: Brian Lacy