Silverlake, 2008 moved to the El Rey Theatre for a night and they brought visuals with them for the Tar Fest.
Los Feliz Bolsheviks, The Polyamorous Affair opened the night with their Eurodisco camp as the crowd filtered in. They did their job and got the festivities rolling with a party vibe. Singer Eddie Chacon worked overtime getting the crowd to participate and he gradually won them over. They played songs off their recent release, Bolshevik Disco, along with their older favorites. Of the three bands that night, they are the one band that always employs video in their shows, with video mixer, Mr. Cocoon, an actual member of their live band. They passed the El Rey test, and by the end of their set the crowd was in a positive groove and ready for the rest of the evening’s festivities.
The recently dormant Eskimohunter came up next and considering they haven’t really played much around town since their Spaceland residency a few years back, they sounded awesome. The loudest ambient band in L.A. played behind an opaque white screen, and singer/guitarist Jason 71 put together a sick video show with all sorts of colors and graphics. It made their already soaring music soar that much higher—though their set seemed a little on the short side. After seeing literally hundreds of bands over the last two years since then, I can say with all certainty that they are one of my favorite bands and are at the head of the class for L.A. shoegaze.
Deadly Syndrome peaked and disappeared before I entered the eastside scene, so I had never seen them live and was only marginally familiar with their music. One of my friends who has seen more Silverlake bands then anyone I know told me that they were her favorite live band, so I entered their performance with a high bar set. Maybe it was an impossibly high bar, but I wasn’t really into them. They sound kind of like Frightened Rabbit or Coldplay without the accents. I think of them as one of those wussified girl rock bands who gets on the soundtrack of shows like Greys Anatomy or in a Drew Barrymore film. Their live jams are ok, and the crowd really enjoyed them. Local photographer/visual artist Sterling Andrews (“Gooseberries”) had a video running in the stage backdrop of her painting one of her backgrounds. That was pretty cool, as she’s my favortie local music photographer, and it was in 3-D, which is a neat effect. I wish I dug Deadly Syndrome’s set more but between Eskimohunters’ rad comeback and Sterling’s film, it was hard to go all in with this band. They can definitely play El Rey size clubs—I’m just not into this this type of music.