Half of Los Angeles’ indie-rock royalty came out for this one: members of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Warlocks, Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Tender Box and the Grabs, not to mention Austin’s Black Angels. Psychedelic rock seems to be the defining sound of the national scene, and Dead Meadow slouch at the forefront.
L.A.’s own Silversun Pickups opened with a spirited set that fluctuated between blissed-out shoegaze and high-energy rock, all made more entertaining by lead singer Brian Aubert’s drunken commentary. After tearing into his guitar like Kevin Shields and wailing into the microphone, Aubert would pause to catalog his whiskey consumption, diss the Knitting Factory or joke about jacking the audience off. If the performance wasn’t flawless, the complexity of the band’s music held up well enough to confirm the Pickups as one of L.A.’s finest bands.
D.C.-based headliners Dead Meadow always project more sound than image, avoiding the distractions of rock-star flash and ego. With little said, and psychedelic projections taking up the visual slack, the three nondescript members let their winding, droning music speak for itself, leaving the capacity crowd more than pleased. It’s nice to see that, after several years of hammering it out around the country, this humble band is finally hitting the spotlight.