Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Races: A Homecoming-Live At The Troubadour

Races took over the Troubadour on July 6 for a homecoming event, celebrating their debut, Year Of The Witch, before they embark on another tour of the US, this time with Saint MotelWhen last we encountered Races, they were on the very cusp of the LP's release, and since then they've been hard at work.
Races take an epic widescreen recorded sound and pummel it live, but without sacrificing the melodies.  The live setting is where one truly appreciates the muscle the rest of the band brings to the table.  What started as Wade Ryff's solo project, gelled with Breanna Wood, Lucas Ventura, Devon Lee, Garth Herberg, and Oliver Hild under the name Black Jesus.  After a successful Kickstarter project in 2011, the band adopted their current name and set forth to make what became Year Of The Witch.

They hosted a generous bill, more on which below.  In the category of value per dollar, this was one of the most consistent nights I've been to this year.  Each band was more than watchable, and Races lived up to being at the top of the list, thrilling what was truly an all ages crowd.
First single "Big Broom" was a highlight, the harmonies seeming to etch themselves into the walls.
Another high point was "Walk Through The Fire", which bandleader Wade Ryff admitted to being on the fence about performing, but as you can see below, it came off well.

 They capped off the night by bringing back opener Lili Haydn for a rousing finish.  All in all, a fine welcome home, and we'll look forward to seeing what the future has in hold for them.  And a special shout out to the painter, (whose name I missed), working hard all night at the back of stage.  He seemed as inspired by the music as those making it.
 Gliss took charge of the often difficult middle slot, upping the ante with a shimmering cloud of noisy guitar goodness.  The LA based trio, Victoria Cecilia, Martin Klingman, and David Reiss, has put in touring time in Europe, and based on this set, is on the verge of making some waves stateside.  They've been playing together for 7 or 8 years, and it was reflected in their tightness.  Their most recent LP was Devotion Implosion, and they are currently working on a new one.

Lili Haydn opened the show with a lively flourish, fronting a full, (and fully talented), band.  The violinist was an intense, magnetic presence on the stage, and based on post-set bar chatter, totally won over the audience.  "I Am A Man" was the track I couldn't get off my mind, well after the band left the stage.  
 She has had a number of high profile backing gigs, including playing with Roger Waters at his Coachella performance of The Dark Side Of The Moon.  She is currently working on a new LP, hopefully out by year's end.  Below is an opportunity to sample her work:


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