Monday afternoon I walked out of my office, down the street about 6 blocks and into the dimly lit Triple Door. Why would anyone go to the Triple Door in the middle of the afternoon? Well I guess they do serve lunch, but I went there to catch the Black Angels and Jose Gonzalez. It was a KEXP special event for their high rollers. I’m not a high roller, just a poor music geek, but my friend Rachel is and she invited me as her plus one. The last time I was at the Triple Door was to see the late great Go-Betweens. It’s a great venue, if only a bit diner theatre-ish.
Everyone was there to see Austin’s Black Angels and when John Richards came on stage to say he had some bad news and the Black Angels wouldn’t be playing for another 30 minutes there was a collective moan. He said he did have some good news, Jose Gonzalez was there and was gonna play. Bonus! Gonzalez came out and sat down at the center front of the stage and steam-rolled through 8 songs:
All You Deliver
Stay in the Shade
Send Someone Away (new track)
Heartbeats (Knife cover)
He sounded really good, and the venue was perfect for his hushed voice and acoustic picking.
The Black Angels came out almost immediately after Gonzalez left the stage. Why can’t all shows run this smoothly?
To call them derivative is like no duh! If you closed your eyes you could have convinced yourself that you were listening to Jefferson Airplane. Not a bad thing mind you, they can put together a wall of sound that rivals some of the best I’ve seen. They reminded me a bit of the Warlocks but a little less intimidating. Where the Warlocks look like they could kick your ass, the Black Angels looked like they might be able to beat up your little brother (maybe). Their live sound was a lot more dynamic than their record, and they’ve got a ton of instruments. Either they’re rich, or they spend all their money on guitars. I swear not one person played bass on back to back songs, and each guy had his own bass guitar along with at least 3 other guitars. Somebody’s taking care of these guys. Here’s what they rocked the house with:
The Sniper at the Gates of Heaven
The First Vietnamese War
Young Men Dead
After the show, I looked at my watch and it was 2:20. I walked back outside into the blinding daylight. My phone is ringing with work on the line….back to reality and the rest of the day.
Here’s someone else that saw the show: