Thursday, August 29, 2013

Austin City Limits taping - the Black Angels

Three years have passed since I attended one of the last Austin City Limits (ACL) tapings, at the old studio, for Spoon. For their next season, 2011, the ACL show moved into the Moody Theater. Although I have attended many shows there, including the first one, I had not attended an actual ACL taping at the new location.

Two nights ago, my friends Ron and Alissa called and informed me that they had won two pairs of tickets, in the lottery for local band, the Black Angels. I was familiar with the band, but can't really say I am a fan. I was more interested in seeing how the taping experience had changed.

As we entered the venue, I was surprised to discover that we had assigned seating, and that the entire theater was being used. Security seemed a little bit heavier, and they were cautioning people against any sort of camera use, which is understandable. As a result, I don't have any pictures of the band playing.


They played for about an hour, and came out for encore, which I didn't understand, because the show is edited to show only the music. The setlist was posted on the ACL TV Facebook page.

It was generally enjoyable, but the Black Angels aren't really my cup of tea. And, the experience is much less intimate with a theater that is 8 times the size and capacity, of the old KLRU studio.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Aristocrats at the Saxon Pub

Courtesy of one of the my fellow TOAPP campers, I became aware of a three piece, power fusion trio, the Aristocrats.

The band has the following lineup:

You may or may not recognize that two of the musicians, Marco and Guthrie, were members of Steven Wilson's band for the Raven that Refused to Sing tour. Marco was also in Steven's band to support Grace for Drowning, and has played with Adrian Belew, UKZ, along with many others.

I had never heard or seen Bryan Beller, but was aware that he and Marco had been touring in support of Joe Satriani. Clearly, he is no slouch, either.

Since the band came highly recommended, and I had already seen two of the trio members perform live, it was a no-brainer to buy their CD. I ordered the CD on-line, and was also able to digitally download the music immediately. I liked what I heard, they displayed a frightening level of virtuosity.

It was couple days later when I discovered that they would be playing a show in Austin, and at the Saxon Pub, no less. Even though the show was at 11PM on a Sunday, how could I pass up the show for $15?? The Aristocrats

Their set started about 10:55PM, after Bryan thoughtfully told the audience that he wanted to make sure that everyone had gotten into the club. They then began a 2 hour set that rocked the house. Fortunately, they introduced every song, and usually had an accompanying story for each composition. I was able to jot down this setlist, as a result.

The playing was incredible and terrifying. There were a lot of musicians in the audience, and I am certain that one or two probably went home and burned their instruments, after watching this band. Marco and Guthrie are indescribably good

I was really blown away, however, by Bryan Beller. I had a great vantage point to watch Bryan up close, and decided that he is right up there with Jeff Berlin. He has amazing alternating finger technique on the bass.

The set ended shortly after 1AM, and I have feeling that this band will be back soon. Final Bow