Saturday, January 16, 2010

Concert Review: A.A. Bondy @ The Echo

A. A. Bondy just finished up at the Echo in Silverlake. First thing that stood out was his voice. Instantly recognizable as a great folk/pop timbre. Instantly. Nice little trio; drummer doubled on pedal steel and had a synth pad he used to trigger some samples (not too exciting, but noteworthy in terms of the electric sound they had on some tunes)...the pedal steel was quite nice, however. After three songs one might think that they were in for an insanely dynamic performance and they wouldn't be too far off, but for the lull in the center of the set. Somewhere in the middle of this lull the band went into a noise-rock/sound experiment of nob turning and feedback, but it just wasn't convincing. I was actually extremely relieved when they brought the intensity back up for the last couple of tunes because they executed it so much better. This was achieved by not solely raising volume and distortion, but doing so whilst maintaining the integrity of a very slow building 6/8 tumbler which they were able to climax beautifully before ending with a dissonant crash. A.A. also displayed some tasty travis-picking independence and the encore displayed the drummer's musicality and skill with a long set of extremely even and poignant double-stroke rolls within his compound metered groove. All in all this headlining set was very mellow, plenty eclectic, and overall, quite satisfying. Always nice to hear a band sound even better then their records.

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