Saturday, March 22, 2008

Evangelicals @ The Hemlock Tavern

Last night, drenched in artificial smoke and black light, dressed in capes and scarves, Evangelicals delivered an awesome dose of their own brand of psychedelic rock. The band's set, which ran about 45 minutes, focused mainly on their latest record The Evening Descends. It was a set of rock and roll that was, frankly, too big for the Hemlock's tiny stage. Had the band had four times as much space, they would have been equally at home. However, they made do with the confines, and left a full room completely happy with a show that really delivered.

Perhaps the biggest question we had going into this show was whether the band would really be able to deliver in two areas: lead singer Josh Jones' vocals, and the complex synth arrangements that lie all over the album. We should have had no concern: Jones' vocals were dead on, and the arrangements were even better than on record. Moreover, we were really glad to see that all the instrumentation was all live, rather than prerecorded (we're looking at you, Of Montreal).

Because the band is from Oklahoma, there's a Flaming Lips reference in almost every interview or review. However, let there be no doubt: Evangelicals are firmly doing their own thing. The band members are all highly musically adept, and the songs gain even more majesty and enthusiasm (if you can believe it) live. The band is making their way up the Northwest now, so catch them if you can.

Bonus: In an effort to further convey the atmosphere, we gave video a try. See what you think.