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Show Review: The Black Angels/The Living Blue/Tractor Kings, Cowboy Monkey 10/26/07

With the crowd still filling in, as it would be throughout the first two bands’ sets, Tractor Kings took the stage. Influenced by Bob Dylan and his disciples, it was a special set with The Living Blue lead singer Steve Ucherek adding his electric guitar to the band, giving the songs a post-rock sound. They covered Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” and trampled the stage with rattling drums, a walking bass, and psychedelic fuzz guitar, making for a better version than Dylan himself plays these days.

The Living Blue went on next. They delivered big riffs influenced by 90’s Brit-rock between Pablo Honey and The Stone Roses. Ucherek’s voice even reminded me of a less whiney Liam Gallagher. The first song was new, highly psychedelic and the most garage sounding of the songs they played. “Refugee” was the other standout new track with its upbeat drumming and riffing guitar. They played a strong set and were an appropriate opener for The Black Angels.

Finally, with a pretty full house, the six members of The Black Angels took the stage. The music they play could be described as our generation’s Velvet Underground or Jesus and Mary Chai, but they’re much more than that. Their music is melodic with thumping tribal drums, and hypnotizing fuzzed out guitars, and the feedback isn’t just out of control, but actually adds to the music. The band was accompanied by projectors that showed slides of brightly-colored cell slides and clips of various apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic scenes. It was an excellent effect and really threw the show back a couple decades. They played more than a handful of cuts, including personal favorite “Young Med Dead,” from their great debut album Passover, and finished off a great show with a great wall of sound.

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