Dec 13, 2009

Akron/Family @ Annandale Hotel

I don't know if I enjoyed every minute of Akron/Family at the Annandale Hotel last night. But I know this, I was amazed by every minute of the show. It was bewildering, confusing, joyous, chaotic, mesmeric, loud and totally engrossing. For nearly two hours the trio from New York dazed and confused us with a combination of sound and performance that I have rarely seen on stage. I knew the band had a reputation for freak out live performances, but I wasn't prepared for anything like this. Anything. At all.

Coming on later then advertised, the trio began gently. Lulling us into a sense of security it would seem. They opened with the opening stanza of "Gravelly Mountains Of The Moon", before giving us a little of "Meek Warrior". Then came the true beauty of "River", a song for this age and any age. With each band member taking turns on the vocals, the harmonies were entrancing and quite beautiful. Then, well, things changed. They launched into a long improvised song about meadows and crickets. I have no idea what it was called, but it was beautiful and tranquil and kind of strange. Then as it ended the band called for the lights to go down and for the audience to close their eyes and think of things we loved, which also led to some sort of strange happy birthday to some quasi-religious figure. Odd, but some how comforting. Then the band returned to "Gravelly Mountains Of The Moon" which extended into a super heavy jam. This was certainly a feature of the night, I was certainly surprised at how heavy the band was. As these long jams descended into chaos the two guitars on stage really crunched. Seth Olinsky on lead and Miles Seaton bass really cranked up the volume and intensity. All the while drummer Dana Janssen was moving every thing along with intensity and passion. The next song, not sure of its title, became a thirty minute jam with members of support Oh Ye Denver Birds joining the band on stage and proceeding to deliver a cacophony of sound and fury. If this wasn't enough the band launched into the supersonic "Ed Is A Portal", which was furious, chaotic and totally sublime. Closing with "Everyone Is Guilty" was welcomed and well received. Then they departed, after midnight much to the chagrin of the venue's owners. There was certainly concern on their part as the hotel's curfew was already passed. But the band was set to deliver more, giving us a blistering "Blessing Force", before a salubrious "I Know You Rider". What did we witness? I am not sure I even know. Sometimes I felt like crying with joy. Sometimes I wished they knew how to end a song. It was everything and nothing. It was heart. It was soul. It was community. I don't know. You just had to be there.

Set List (Really struggled with this. any help would be welcome)
Gravelly Mountains Of The Moon (opening)
Meek Warrior
Ancient Meadows?
Gravelly Mountains Of The Moon (completing)
long jam ?
Ed Is A Portal
ambient noise ?
Everyone Is Guilty

Blessing Force
I Know You Rider (Traditional)


  • At December 13, 2009 , Blogger Tim said...

    Yeah, it was hard to pick up what they were playing haha. I think the pre-Ed is a Portal jam + Ed is a portal went for nearly 45 minutes...insane. That was easily the highlight of the gig. Agree that they drew the jams out a bit too much at points, and by the end of it I was definitely ready to go home.


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