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“The Best Gig I Ever Saw” is a weekly column that will see us ask a musician to chat about their favorite concert thus far. This week it's Tamara Raye, of Long Beach dub, jazzy afrobeat garage rockers Wargirl...

Goat at Pappy & Harriet's
How does one, especially a musician, select the singular best live performance they’ve ever witnessed? I thumbed through a stack of faded ticket stubs stashed away in my closet to ponder the question, and succeeded at nothing more than transferring the faint scent of stale beer and smudges of decade old ink to my fingers. Then it dawned on me, I didn’t even have a ticket to the best show I’ve ever seen. That fateful evening in 2014, I happened to find myself in the middle of nowhere (aka the High Dez) at Pappy & Harriet’s for a pit stop. A good Samaritan at the bar, who clearly knew something that I did not, convinced me to stay past my bedtime for a late night show. What came next feels, to this day, like a scene from a Dennis Hopper photograph.

Goat. Goat is what came next. Truly I had absolutely no preconceived notion of the assault that was to descend upon my senses. At first glance, several Swedes clad in robes and tribal masks made their way to the stage. Neat. The set began with an entrancing beat and unharmonized unison female vocals permeating the tiny low-ceilinged space. Fuzz-bass tones and wah-driven solos dripping with psychedelia somehow managed to commingle with nods to Swedish folk and Afro-beat hooks. By the time I came to from what I’m certain was a fully hypnotized state, I observed every living thing in the room moving, pulsating, undulating. The walls quite literally were dripping with sweat, the air was thick, and a handful of people were making out. To call the band’s performance “immersive” would be a gross understatement. The entire experience felt as if every occupant in the room momentarily transported as a collective to another place and time. How very Swedish. How would one describe the opposite of a sensory deprivation chamber? That is precisely how you describe seeing Goat play live.

Wargirl plays with Furcast, Devil Season and Preloaded Spoon at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 8 at Alex's Bar.

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