July 8th, The Echoplex, Los Angeles
There's nothing quite like the anticipation of going to another show, especially when it's been more than a couple months since last I went to one. This time it was the charming ladies of Au Revoir Simone. The place: The Echoplex. A literal off the beaten path location that will probably only be found if you're actually looking for it. It has a bigger brother in The Echo, which is above it I believe, but The Echoplex can only be accessed by going down under a tiny bridge. Anyway, the parking for this venue is free so as you can imagine I was thrilled by this revelation. It's a very dark environment with black walls and sparse atmospheric lighting. It's got an interesting shape to it that I was struck by. It stretches all the way back from the stage to the bar. At least 50 feet or so. I definitely like it, especially because of how open spaced it felt.
When Allie and I arrived the opening act, George Sara, was already into their set. They really helped create an interesting mood, at least initially. The music was an interesting mixture of live string instrument performers and George Sara on his electronic setup. Fairly unique but ultimately I was only impressed by a couple songs before it grew tiring and monotonous. After George Sara came Alexa Wilding and her acoustic guitar. Nothing more, nothing less. She played a handful of folk songs that were decent enough though I'm not sure how much I enjoyed it at this particular show. It seemed slightly out of place amongst the electro leanings of Au Revoir Simone and George Sara's performance just before. But it was a nice breather and contrast falling between both of them. So it wasn't all that bad. As I said, either the music wasn't that great or I wasn't really in the mood that night for listening to soft folk songs, as endearing as they might have been. Although it was probably a mixture of both of those feelings. Needless to say, all I could think was, "Bring on Au Revoir Simone!"
Not long after Alexa Wilder ended the three amigas of Au Revoir Simone came on stage and took their positions behind their respective keyboards (one for each of them). I couldn't help but notice they were all dressed classy-like in their dresses and it very much fits their music style and personality. Things started off with "Another Likely Story" followed by "Sad Song", the latter of which was the only song from their debut album. This was fine by me because "Sad Song" is currently the only offering from that release I'm familiar with. The rest of the evening consisted of songs from their 'Still Night, Still Light' album that was released just last year, in fact it felt like they played nearly the entire album's worth of material. They were all lovingly reproduced with the usual slight differences that a live setting will bring. Going into the show I thought perhaps the charm wouldn't be as apparent live but I was proven wrong. There wasn't a lot of movement on stage given their necessary positions behind the keyboards but it wasn't a problem. The lights they used during the performances were also extremely complimentary, especially by the time the "psychedelic portion of the set" came around, as stated by one of the members, including lots of drug-induced color effects on the screen behind them. Overall, there's not much else I might say other than that I received exactly the type of show I hoped to get from Au Revoir Simone, and then some. I highly recommend getting to see them if you're a fan as you will have a fun time as I did. After all, if a fan of black metal (me) can appreciate their talent and charms then I think just about anyone has the potential to be wooed as well.
Official Website: http://aurevoirsimone.com/