Matt Chamberlain Residency with David Torn
Better than...watching the Lakers lose.
Last night, before a moderate-sized crowd, drummer Matt Chamberlain resumed his month-long residency alongside guitar slinger David Torn. The two instrumentalists, armed with impeccable understanding and a relentless light show, put on a display of instrumental prowess rarely offered in Los Angeles.
Torn is renowned for his avant-garde leanings. His spidery licks have graced the work everyone from David Bowie and Don Cherry to John Legend and kd lang. Chamberlain, a San Pedro success story, is a jack of all trades. He has backed everyone from Fiona Apple to William Shatner.
The duo entered bathed in green light. They started with a slow, industrial echo attached to Torn's guitar while Chamberlain laid down an ambient pulse. For the entirety of the set, the band dealt in atmospheric ramblings and propulsive backbeats. Torn provided a strange series of disjunct guitar riffs in response to Chamberlain's driving drum beats. Torn's nimble fingers fluttered over his six strings as Chamberlain pulsed about both acoustically and electronically.
The set was a strange experience, with the house lights flipped to every switch and providing an utmost laser/planetarium setting. In between, billowing fog set out over the first few rows of the crowd. Admirably, the duo set out to match the stadium atmospherics on offer.
Chamberlain was in deep correspondence with Torn's far-reaching guitar sounds, providing synchronized beats to his pyschedlic freak-out. Pity the late-comer, for how many colors can a curtain turn? And how much eye-sight is one willing to sacrifice to a laser beam? But the band showed no sign of stopping during their brief set, pummeling a bell-like tone as Torn gave it his all.