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Words by Jacquelyn Pyun
Photos by Priscilla de Lima-Ledesma

Hope said no.
I’ve heard that Hope Sandoval (of Mazzy Star) fights a pretty serious battle with stage fright, and it’s clear that she’s a woman of very few words (check out her timid-tip-toe of a BYT interview)—but witnessing it in person is pretty wild. Well, not wild.
No photos. No video. No exceptions. What??
We were pretty bummed Wednesday night when we first arrived to see Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions at Sixth & I and read the ominous sign on the door. But, after reading about her storm-off-freak-OUT-break-DOWN Tuesday night at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom, I guess I should calm down. I’m thinking Hope must really have some public performance demons.
She sings veiled in almost opacity: The only dim light in the Synagogue originates from the projection screen behind The Warm Inventions. Only the tip-top of Hope’s head is lightly lit by the wispy images that float by as she sings.

So I spent most of my time stuck in a mysterious trance, watching those ghostly patterns on the wall. Her haunting voice wraps and dips in sync with the muted dancers, trees, and forest fires that spin and layer on the projection screen. The Warm Inventions move in and out with psychedelic support, nicely heavy on that Mazzy Star slide.
A note on the opening band, Dirt Blue Gene: Not impressed. Comprised of Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions—minus Hope and a few others—they didn’t stand alone well without the distinctive hovering of Hope’s voice. They also could shake their set list up a bit—the only song that steered away from drone-y, dreary, moany, slide-guitar-ness was the very last one. Maybe a little texture in the middle of the set next time?

All in all, Hope sounds great. The eerie presentation of her voice, The Warm Inventions, and even Hope’s personal demons worked well at the often awk!ward-anyways Synagogue venue. I adore Mazzy Star, and I think Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions will satiate Mazzy fans. (Aren’t there still rumors of another Mazzy Star release???)
AND, check out Priscilla’s sneaky shadowed shots…