Blonde Redhead – Luyas – Echoplex 7-1-11 Blonde Redhead – Luyas – Echoplex 7-1-11

The show at Echoplex was Blonde Redhead’s first of a two night engagement in Los Angeles. Still touring off 2010’s “Penny Sparkle” (an album that I still feel was one of the most overlooked of last year) this was the band’s first visit to Los Angeles since playing the music box in November. A bit of foreshadowing was evident before the band even took stage at the Echoplex, as the setup was in sharp contrast to the lavish trappings that covered the stage at the music box. This time around there was a very minimal amount of decoration or props and it was clear from early on that the focus was going to be on the music.

The set list was heavily populated by tracks off the most recent album, which might be one of the most psychedelic that Blonde Redhead has released. Fitting in with that mood they had the entire place lit like a tribute to Picasso’s Blue Period. Even in the shadows Kazu’s dancing, and just her overall gait, were entrancing. Every time I see this band they seem to have the ability to manipulate time like it was some sort of instrument. What might be more impressive is the amount of urgency they can generate through music that’s pace rarely eclipses mellow. It was towards the end of the set when they released a foam machine on the crowd that it really started to look like a Blonde Redhead show.

Equally impressive, and I can’t overstate the gravity in which I make that statement, were the direct support band The Luyas. Admittedly the show at the Echoplex was my first time hearing this this indie band from Montréal Québec. Lead singer Jessica Stein’s stage presence was like a tornado in a vacuum. For 45 minutes everything else seemed distant and the attention of the entire venue was squarely focused on the pixie haired front woman and her 12-string electric zither designed by the Dutch experimental luthier Yuri Landman (I can’t remember the last time I had to go to Wikipedia and look up what type of instrument it was that someone was playing). I’m officially a fan now.
PS. At the time this was published I for some reason thought Luyas was put out on Frenchkiss Records, they are in fact on Dead Oceans Records


Pictures of Blonde Redhead – Echoplex 7-1-11

Pictures of Luyas – Echoplex 7-1-11

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