Photo by Bryan Lasky
Geoff Gordon’s first show was an atmospheric triumph. Their massive sound–thickened by multiple keyboards and guitarists, settled over the crowd like a light fog: warm and swelling and full. The band of DIY veterans pulled together a crisp and efficient breakout performance, zooming towards the finish line without any of those sorry-we’re-still-figuring-this out hitches. (I promised myself I wouldn’t make a racecar joke.) And they made it look easy. Harmonies from Shannon Straney and Dan LaFave were in good company, with several audience members mouthing along to songs like “Choker” and the communal “MHL Jesus” off the band’s debut EP that dropped in December 2017. Somehow, their songwriting feels even stronger in person.
Philly’s Comfy was all charisma and charm. For a band with plenty of talent to make them a success, they knock it out of the park with their personality. Towards the end of their set, they practiced running band introductions with a deserved amount of pomp and circumstance. For his turn, guitarist Jake Crowfoot treated the band to a rendition of “Jumpin’ Jumpin’” by Destiny’s Child on his left-handed Les Paul.
The Adventures of the Silver Spaceman releases like a jack-in-the box, warming up steadily with tracks like “Electric Earth” and “Expulsions” that picked up the pace with a ghastly power. There is a strange and fascinating energy here–the musicians eye each other warily until losing themselves in their own chaos–all of it upheld by a bass backbone, a consistent performance from Elise Okusami (who also fronts Oceanator.) Their closing tracks featuring “Breath of Fire” blew it all away. The climax crashed so violently that a cymbal tossed from Dylan Depice’s pounding drums fell, slicing right through the guitarist’s amp cord, splaying out the wires. The band’s guitarist spun the instrument upside down in a shrug as the foursome harnessed all of their energy into one final cathartic release.
Okusami doubled back for another set with the powerful Brooklyn outfit Oceanator to close out the show. The band absolutely tears it up with songs like “Baby Won’t You”, a sticky, beat-driven romp about leechy catcallers that bites so hard it leaves you bloody. “Nowhere Nothing” is a symphony in itself and “Fall Back Down” will knock the breath out of you.
Each band dominated this show with unique and powerful sets that could have pulled this type of audience all on their own. Instead, the night’s audience was almost over-stimulated by four bouts of striking yet congruent groups that left the place buzzing for hours.
Oceanator, The Adventures of the Silver Spaceman, Comfy, Geoff Gordon at the Chateau Providence, Saturday Feb. 3.