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Review: The Black Angels at St. Andrew’s Hall

by David Gimpel

The front runners of modern-day Psychedelia, The Black Angels, stopped by Detroit’s Saint Andrews Hall Sunday night for a full house performance in support of their excellent new album, Death Song.  With the visual wonders by the Mustachio Light Show, The Black Angels took the crowd on a psychedelic trip that made us feel like we were hippies in the 60s for a night.

The Black Angels latest, and most diverse, album came out a little over a week before the performance and you can tell the band is proud of it as it was the bulk of the set list playing 9 of the 11 tracks off the album. They could have played the new album front to back and it would have been the perfect show.

Highlights off the new album and of the set range from some of the bands warmest moments like the single “Half Believing” that gives front man Alex Mass’s best vocal performance in the band.The other new tracks “I Dreamt” and “Medicine” could make a crowd groove and lose yourself in the vibe. The set closing “Life Song” illuminated St. Andrews Hall, with the help of the disco ball that really added a nice touch.

They played songs off of all their albums, with a few tracks from their seminal debut album Passover, and it really won the crowd over. The Black Angels played like a well-oiled machine, but I wished they would have stretched and explored more elements within some of the songs. Maybe the songs will find a new territory as they continue their journey, as I have seen the band do in the past. Regardless, the band performed one of the best shows of the year, and one that will be remembered.  So if you have yet to see The Black Angels, I recommend you catch them next time through.

A Place to Bury Strangers

If you arrived late, you missed New York noisemakers, A Place to Bury Strangers. They have been dubbed by some critics as “The Loudest Band in New York City”. Their reputation followed them, as they unleashed sonic wave over the crowd. They played through a massive amounts of fog and strobes light that added more to the chaos on stage, and ended their set in the middle of the crowd with an improved noise-dance party. They were the perfect pairing for a great night of psych-noise rock n roll.

Check out the Photo Album

Setlist:
Currency
Bad Viberations
The Prodigal Sun
I Dreamt’
Medicine
I Hear Colors (Chormasthesia)
Grab As Much (as you can)
Half Believing
The Sniper At The Gates Of Heaven
Haunting At 1300 McKinley
Better Off Alone
I’d Kill For Her
You On The Run
Comanche Moon
Life Song

Encore:
Estimate
Death Song
Young Men Dead

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