Thanks to the El Rey having one of the best sound systems in Los Angeles we finally got to see and truly hear Boris. With their hodge-podge of gear that could only end up together as the result of a tone junkie searching the ends of the earth for the perfect combination--or, as the first year student special we all know intimately, the whatever-was-on-sale, Boris reminded us that while the abundance of gear sponsorships has allowed bands to play things totally out of their price range, it's taken away the tone hunt.
A giant gong sat ominously at the back of the stage Friday night as they walked out, hardly visible through the thick smoke that swirled in the blue and green lights.
The large crowd was ecstatic all night but made no secret that their favorites were "Statement" and "Pink." Atsuo initiated mass horn throwing multiple times, which really, men in sequins should do more often.
They brought a second guitarist, most likely Michio Kurihara who was shredding and droning like a fiend on a vintage Gibson. With Wata plugged into Orange amps the '60s influence was clear, and through her Matamps the desert rock breaks were apparent.
Takeshi had his custom built double neck First Act in tow. It's a brave thing to sport a brand found in Wal-Mart on stage with two vintage Gibsons. Gear snobs can suck it, that was a sound to envy.
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Atsuo in his sequin vest and pink acrylic drum set was rock star incarnate. He played like Animal. His mouth gaped open, as wide as Animal's. His hair was as big and unruly as Animal's. It may have been Animal.
For ninety minutes Boris fluently shifted from ambient, to drone, to doom, to psychedelic, until the venue started flashing their lights signaling the band to reel it in.
Refusing to stick to a genre and with nearly 30 albums (including three live and a number of collaborations, including the latest with Ian Astbury--weird, right?) it is impossible to even chip the Boris iceberg in a single night but it was equally impossible to feel shorted at the end of it all.