Friday, August 19, 2011

The Protomen at Emos

Deja Vu - Twitter to the Rescue Again

After attending the Long Star Ruby Conference this past weekend, I was paying more attention to Twitter than normal. In an eerie replay of the events that led me to seeing the Protomen last year, a just in time tweet notified me that they were on tour.

Quickly checking their website, I discovered they were playing Emos in three days. I immediately bought a ticket.

The Openers

For The Most Part

Knowing that there were two openers, both from Austin, I didn't really bother to leave the house until 10PM. As a result, I missed the first opener, For the Most Part.

The Descendants of Erdrick

The other opening act, Descendants Of Erdrick, bills themselves as Austin's Premier Video Game Tribute band. They were a five piece, with two guitars, a flute, bass, and drums.

The band were all very good musicians, but since I am not a Gen-X'er who was weaned on Nintendo, I didn't find hearing covers as engaging, as the Protomen's more creative approach. The lack of vocals was also a bit of a deal killer for me.

The Protomen

While waiting around for main act, I went over to the Merch booth and bought a T-shirt. I was also able to talk to Protomen guitarist, Robert. After telling him that I had been at their show last year, we commiserated about the stifling heat, and conditions at Game Over Video games.

I was also able to find out, that they intend to do one more album along the Mega Man story arc, with producer, Alan Shacklock, and then something new is in the works. We'll have to wait and see what happens. I was also surprised to hear that they had trouble getting back into SxSW, last year.

The Protomen's show started with one of their members in a jump suit and robot mask, as K.I.L.R.O.Y.! His banter and come back lines were very well practiced, and raised the level of their showmanship.
Kilroy introduces the Protomen at Emos

The line-up for the band appeared to be the same as the last years, with one exception. The second female member was MIA. I believe she was the member that played trumpet, keyboards, and sang backing vocals.

I estimate that they played about 75 minutes, with a mix of songs from both of their albums. There was one encore, and this time around they did an excellent cover of Queen's, Princes of the Universe. Frankly, I was amazed by how close the Protomen's lead singer was able to sound like Freddie Mercury.

I really enjoyed the show once again, my only complaint was with the sound, which was muddy at times. But, that's really the fault of the crappy house P.A. at Emos.

I will continue to be a fan of this band, and I'm anxious to hear their new album, in the coming months.
The Protomen at Emos

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ulrich Ellison House Concert

My good friend, Ulrich Ellison, performed a house concert in celebration of obtaining funding for his new album, on Kickstarter. Not having caught any of his gigs in a while, I thought that this would be a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Uli was accompanied by percussionist/drummer, John Bush, and cellist/bassist, Steve Bernal. The space was fantastic, and supplied an excellent listening experience. They played two magnificent sets, and I made a mental note to look for more shows at this location, known locally for the Ham Jam.

John Bush, Ulrich Ellison, Steve Bernal

Lastly, if you're an Austinite, and like guitar music in the spirit of Jeff Beck, you owe it to yourself to check out Ulrich's music.