Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blacklist @ Fortune Cookie Lounge

On a night of pouring rain and bleak summer chill, one of Blacklist's darkest, heaviest shows yet took place past midnight in the bowels of drag queen haven Lucky Cheng's. Facing a blue brick backdrop, bleeding red ceilings and cheap Chinese lanterns throwing pinpoints of light around the room, the band began with an improvised opening, backs to the audience. The mood had already been set by Lichens, a duo that relied on cello and extreme vocal emanations to conjure a cinematic atmosphere both turbulent and soothing, so it was eerily fitting Blacklist start this way.

Glenn Maryansky's spare drum line cut through the stagnant, wet air with ever increasing intensity as Josh Strawn played a warm, vibrato-heavy melody on top of James Minor's rhythmic, textured guitar and Ryan Rayhill's penetrating bass. Opening with "Julie Speaks," what followed was a set of fan favorites ("Shock in the Hotel Falcon," the Asylum Party cover, "Pure Joy In My Heart") and rarities ("Crucible" with that killer riff, "Civil War," which worships at the altar of Motorhead and Maiden, and "No Secret Islands," an epic, smoldering thrown down that had Minor manically drawing out distortion via butter knife). By the end, when the fog finally cleared, what remained was a feeling that we'd witnessed a 'show' in the truest sense of the word. Cohesive in its musical choices from beginning to end with the emotional underpinning of brooding passion more present than ever, Blacklist gave a taste of what could come. Fans and newcomers in the audience were vocal in agreement: it was quite the sonic showcase.

Check out the current issue of NME for coverage of Blacklist here, and catch the band if you can before they take over Deutschland in October...

1 comment:

frankie teardrop said...

crucible and civil war?! i am sadly unfamiliar with these two. no secret island rules, though.

welcome home!