all photos: Julia Benton
Klaxons’ fantastical otherworldly event of a show, aside from being unbelievably awesome, had those juicy little extras that just make you feel more…complete…Like an unforgettable opening band, a bearded Peace Walker, and a random beauty pageant contestant. What more could you ask for? The only disappointment of the night was the small size of the crowd. This show honestly should have packed the 9:30 Club.
I arrived just in time to catch the last few songs of Baby Monster’s opening performance. Right away I wished I had gotten there earlier. I would have loved to have heard their set in its entirety. These guys (Marty Larson and Danny Sternbaum) have “it.” Baby Monster’s particular brand of ethereal synth-pop sounded just perfect to me as it echoed through the hallowed reaches of the 9:30 Club. The songs I did hear were beautiful and airy pieces of bass heavy, haunting synth-pop, and I liked them…a lot.
Maybe it has something to do with my unhealthy obsession with Depeche Mode (yes, I am one of those people…I buy Dave Gahan’s solo albums…) but I really liked the faintly sinister tinge to Baby Monster’s sound. One of my favorites of the night was “Ultra Violence and Beethoven,” a unique and chilling bittersweet song that showcased Larson’s melancholy clarion vocals and Sternbaum’s incredible talent as a producer.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHk_Rysj9pw
Yes, they’re pretty, and yes their music is danceable, but these guys are no throw-away cutesy pop act; they’ve got some serious musical chops. If what Baby Monster has produced so far (they’ve only been playing together for about year) is a good indication of their potential, then I give it just a year or so more before these guys start performing as headliners and drawing some serious crowds of their own.
Check out Baby Monster’s killer remix of Miami Horror’s “Moon Theory”‘
Baby Monster primed the audience for the unworldly tone of Klaxons’ performance that followed. Klaxons sauntered on stage to an epic intro track all smiles and mischievous energy and proceeded to blow our minds with their fire-eating rock and roll magic.
This is me…this is me regretting those immature glow stick comments from my earlier interview with the Klaxons…There is absolutely nothing gimmicky or frivolous about this band. Their performance was a solid musical journey featuring a mixture of songs from their two albums Myths of the Near Future and Surfing the Void.
Their opener, “Flashover,” was a grandiose hard-rock song that was very clearly crafted under the influence of producer and nu metal/post–hardcore legend Ross Robinson (Sepultura, Slipknot, At the Drive In, The Cure.)
The short and sweet up-beat “Gravity’s Rainbow,” was a definite crowd favorite, and the following jam “Venusia” impressed with lyrics straight out of a science-fiction saga-which were delivered in a David Bowie-esque wail. “Golden Skans,” was of course, all that it is as a recording-a very well-written pop song complete with stellar vocals and catchy hooks.
“Magick” was pure uh…magic. Lead singer Jamie Reynolds totally worked the crowd. The band milked it with an awesomely pregnant pause followed by a total freak-out –send you home sore-rock and roll smack down.
It was around this time of the night, that the band took the opportunity to invite the “Peace Walker” (an older shirtless gentleman) they had met earlier in the day onto the stage. Peace Walker was also inexplicably joined by a beauty pageant contestant…? This was too much…I got a little flustered/hot and had to remove my flannel…I think it was the USA! USA! USA! chant that did it…But these unexpected characters did add a little something awesomely weird to an already unearthly Tuesday evening. And HEY, any friend of Klaxons is a friend of mine.
By the time Klaxons got to their impressive rendition of “It’s Not over Yet,” they had pretty much entranced the audience to the point that we were not at all prepared to accept that the show was…well, almost over…
Good thing for the Encore:
Klaxons’ appeared back on stage to wow us with “Surfing the Void,” (the title track off their new album) and “Atlantis to Interzone.” Their performance of “Surfing the Void,” felt celebratory that night, as the band shared the good news. That very night marked the iTunes release of their new album of the same name. The finale-“Atlantis to Interzone,” was by far my favorite-like a send me over the edge to an imaginary sci-fi land with the Klaxons kind of favorite…
I have just one teensy tiny request…Please don’t make us wait another three years for what will be, without a doubt, an amazing follow up album.
It’s not very often that I leave a show wanting to hear more of a band’s music, but then again, it’s not very often that I get the opportunity to enjoy the supernatural musical talents of bands like the Klaxons and Baby Monster.
As Above so Below
It’s Not over Yet
Surfing the Void
Atlantis to Interzone