Monday, August 10, 2015

LIVE REVIEW: Max and the Moon w/ Armors and Satchmode

>> Living in LA, it is hard to find a venue where both the audience and the musicians can hear what is going on onstage. When going to see a small band who you heard was good, sound quality is crucial. This makes Mrs. Fish the best LA venue.

>> Satchmode are the first band of the night. When playing to a crowd sipping drinks at a bar, you have to have the stage presence to engage them. Satchmode doesn't. All of the band members seem to be very much off in their own worlds making it feel like the audience is standing behind glass watching the band work in the studio. That said, they have the dream-pop musical vibe down.

>> As Armors begin, the focus of the room moves to the stage. Lead singer (not to mention, drummer) Olen Kittelsen captivates the audience as he engages with us without even looking down at his kit. Sometimes drummers sing backing vocals, clean vocals, or a couple verses in a few songs, but it’s very rare for the drummer to be both lead singer and frontman (incase I haven’t been clear yet, I’m blown away).

>> They begin the set with one of their two released songs, “Parasite.” By having “Parasite” be their first song of the night, Kittelsen shows his vocal stylistic versatility right off the bat. In this one song alone he sings in the style of Train’s lead singer, Patrick Monahan, as well as uses his falsetto during the verses and ends the song with an almost pop-punk style vocal. This makes it easy for Armors to successfully create songs in virtually every rock genre. 

>> Max and The Moon keep with the pop rock theme, starting their set with “Modern Love.” Keyboardist Matt Couchois and guitarist John Velasquez switch off singing lead vocals, falsetto and harmony. Their voices have drastically different timbres giving the illusion of four lead singers rather than two.

>> They play “Mexico” next. It’s very easy at this point to see who’s there for them. “Mexico” has been out for over a year and other than “Crazy,” it’s probably their best known song.

>> Mrs. Fish prides themselves on being a rock n’ roll lounge, so the energy in the room and on stage is always very relaxed. This makes it possible for band members to walk off stage and sing directly to their friends (or in Velasquez’s case, while sitting on their armrest) as friends feed them or give them sips of their drink. Even if you aren’t best friends with MATM, the setting makes it easy to forget that, which, as a fan, is a pretty cool feeling.

>> For both “Out Of My Head” and “The Walk,” Couchois  goes between playing the keys and a snare, a performance tactic most recently associated with Nick Petriccia of WALK THE MOON. However, with a style nothing like 80s rock, that’s where the comparison stops.
In an audience vote, the second to last song they play is their most recent hit, “Harps,” and they end the night with “Crazy” the first track off of their second EP.

>> It’s hard to make an impression in just 30 minutes, but Armors and Max and the Moon do it with ease. Can’t wait to see what they can pull off with longer sets.

By: Ariella Laichas-Malamud


1 comment:

Name said...

Every rock genre? Armors could competently create pop rock, folk rock, dream pop, shoegaze, psychedelic rock, noise rock, post-rock, piano rock, surf rock, alternative, punk, art rock, prog rock, celtic rock, new wave, darkwave, garage, glam, rockabilly, krautrock, indietronica, power pop, neo-psychedelia, ska punk, reggae rock, powerviolence, rap rock, and a thousand other styles?