August 16th, 2010
I caught Autolux at Neumos on Saturday with openers Mongrel Blood and This Will Destroy You. Mongrel Blood was up first and their set was… alright. They started out a little sloppy and… well, basically this seemed to be their style. I am not one to rag on a band or their live show, but Mongrel Blood just wasn’t my cup of tea. Here is how it goes: Mongrel Blood is Cameron Elliot, Eric Fisher, and Spencer Moody (of Murder City Devils fame). So they are just a couple of buds from Seattle out to make some messy music. And for that one and only promise they did great. They were just kinda up there making a party and having some fun. I wasn’t really feeling the feedback situation but I was feeling the guys thanking the crowd by saying “thanks for coming early to see a couple of assholes.” That was just a classic line. If you are a fan of the style of this band I would recommend you checking them out in action at the Carousel Festival on August 29.
Next up was This Will Destroy You, and holding true to the name, they kinda did… destroy me, that is. I didn’t look into this band before rolling out to the show and I was pleasantly surprised by this Texas band’s ability to produce some stellar ambient music. It was a good mix of pretty rough rock and some super chill melodies. I liked the variety. There was not one word uttered by any of the band members until finally you hear a voice about 45 minutes into the set say that the next song would be their last. It was kind of like a no-bull situation, they were not on stage to make friends just music. They had a stellar sound and a light show that would give a small child a seizure. I was stoked on This Will Destroy You and will likely pick up some of their music.
Then, about a half past eleven Autolux finally rolls on stage. My initial observation was that this was the smallest crowd I have yet to experience at Neumos, the whole mezzanine was closed. There was a perfect ratio of songs from both of their albums. The crowd seemed to really enjoy the songs from their first release Future Perfect more so than from their latest. It was easy to gauge this by the amount of smart phones lifted to record the earlier songs in particular. There was a lot of dead air, not so efficient instrument changes and moving around, basically just down time where the band was fussing on stage but not uttering a word to the crowd. I thought this was kind of clumsy but then remembered this is just how this band is. They have that awkward stage presence and they don’t really focus on the small talk. I really dug their set though, they did great as far as sound went. I especially appreciated when Carla Azar took to the vocals, her voice was just so enigmatic. The band finished well past the given time of 12:15 then came back on for the encore and played two more. Despite their relatively silent set, Autolux was amazing to catch live. I was glad to see this band early on in their stacked tour. They are due to be on the road roughly a month and are basically playing nightly, it looks like a rough set up.