Monday, September 13, 2010

Ariel Pink gets funky at The Glass House 9/11

Ariel Pink at the Glass House (Photo: Taylor Hamby)

Perhaps it's the difficulty in defining Ariel Pink's music that makes it hard to review one of his shows. Ariel Pink and his band played at the Glass House in Pomona Saturday.

The Kurt Cobain look alike creates David Bowie-esque tunes than can be classified as dance, eighties revival, lo-fi, funk, or a genre of its own.

Whatever you want to call it, it was not love at first listen. Ariel Pink's music takes a bit of time to dial in your ears to this unique sound.

He has an odd stage presence. Sometimes he looked nervous. He fiddled with a tie during two songs; wrapped it around his neck and then his finger. He put the microphone in his mouth.

Odd presence or not, he is still able to get the crowd riled up. During songs like "Fright Night" and "Menopause Man" fans screamed out and formed a pit.

In fact, I was called out at my lack of visible excitement. A boy hit my shoulder to get my attention and told me to start dancing. "I'm not seeing enough excitement out of you!" he said.

The has more energy in concert than his live recordings, but offers the same comparison defying, confusing sound.

Ariel also demonstrated the large range of his voice that night, and moved from a speaking voice to a falsetto seamlessly.

White Arrows opened for Ariel Pink with their psychedelic goes electric sound. While they didn't break any new ground, they played an entertaining set.

They projected light fractals onto the stage which added an element of mystery, or pretentiousness, depending how you look at it, to the show.

White Arrows seems to be at the imitating, not innovating, stage in their career, but this is nothing that a bit of practice and an acid trip or two can't remedy.

In that vein, they played the best version of Springsteen's "I'm on Fire" I have ever heard.

Bella Novela opened up the evening. Sorry guys, I was late and missed them.

-Taylor Hamby

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