Ringo Deathstarr at the Comet, Seattle | 23 September 2012
One of these days I’m going to see a good Ringo Deathstarr show. Unfortunately last night was not it. On record I love this Austin band’s poppy take on shoegaze. Their second album Mauve which comes out this week is just as good if not better than their debut Colour Trip. These guys write melodies to accompany their guitar miasma, making their songs into more than just the comet trail of My Bloody Valentine. At times they even exceeding their prime influence in the ability to marry god pop with head splitting noise.
So what about Ringo Deathstarr live? I’ve heard reports that they can be good, but the previous time I’d seen them here in Seattle I was underwhelmed. Last night’s show started off on interstellar overdrive. The band sounded great with the right mix of crazy candy coated guitars, fuzzy bass and crashing drums, even the vocal interplay between guitarist Elliott Frazier and bassist Alex Gehring was sounding great. The band blasted through a couple new songs from Mauve and highlights from Colour Trip and guitar induced pop bliss was descending down on the Comet. Then Gehring’s bass amp died and oncoming pop bliss flew out of the window like a balloon that had been untied. From that point Murphy’s Law went into full effect. A new bass amp was procured, but Frazier had turned off one of his guitar amps so that Gehring could use it for her bass, but forgot to turn it back on when they got a real bass amp. This left them sounding like they had lost 60% of their guitars. Then Drummer Daniel Coborn’s bass drum kick pedal broke which brought another break while he MacGyver’d his pedal with some chewing gum and a stapler. Eventually they got back on track but the damage had been done.
In all fairness, last night was beyond their control, and they handled it quite well. Never did they lose their sense of humor or their perseverance. The glimpses of greatness at the beginning and end of the set when everything was working were evidence that they are up to the task of recreating the sonic amazingness of their records live. Hopefully they don’t think that they’re jinxed in Seattle and will return soon.
Ringo Deathstarr – Drag (from Mauve)
You can stream Mauve in its entirety over on soundcloud.