Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Akron Family @ Andy's Last Night

Well... its not very often that a show (especially one on a weeknight) turns out to be everything I hoped for. Akron Family at Andy's in Denton last night was one such rare occasion. Wow. Thats really the only thing I can say, and everyone who was there last night knows exactly what I'm talking about. This actually was one of the best shows I've seen in a very long time. The band's energy was contagious, forcing otherwise stoic hipsters and art majors to jump around, shout, and basically forget that they were supposed to be acting cool. They played songs from both of the albums they put out this year, and the band freely went back and forth between quiet, soulful folk and loud, feedback laced freak out psyche jam sessions with eyes closed and bodies moving, all the time seemingly forgetting that they were the ones onstage playing instruments, lost in a trance of their own creation. And not only could these gentlemen play their instruments, they could fucking SING. All of them. And all of them did sing, seemingly all the time, harmonizing and shouting their way through a set that they described as "folk music," but in truth had about as much in common with Joan Baez as David Bowie does with Bob Dylan.

The truly awe inspiring moment came at the end when all four band members jumped off stage, went into the crowd, and closed the set with a chanting and dancing circle, repeating the mantra "Love and space" while they sang, played guitar and watched the crown around them completely loose themselves in the moment. It was a joyful, surreal, and transcendent experience, and one that left a huge smile on just about every face in the room including mine. If you hadn't seem them play on the stage, you wouldn't have been able to tell who was in the band and who was a fan, as everyone seemed to be contributing to the finale with singing, shouting, stomping or clapping along. Not to sound like some goddamn hippie but it was truly an experience, an event, a happening. It was more than you would ever expect from a hip, pitchfork approved Brooklyn band, having much more to do with 1967 than 1977 without going anywhere close to lame jam band or hippie revivalist territory. And if you can't dig that, man, well I really just feel sorry for you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

just saw these guys in echo park last night, and in fact the show surpassed my expectations. music hasn't made me feel that good in a long time.

i had only heard the s/t album so the show was full of surprises for me. the "love and space" jam was definitely something else...i'll be hanging on to that memory. the limited edition CD they're selling is ace, btw.

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