No Age at Bluebird Theater, 12/01/10
Tom Murphy No Age
With Hot White and Lucky Dragons
12.01.10 | Bluebird Theater
Hot White was first on stage and discharged its signature shards of angular, off-kilter, eruptive sound. It looked like the trio was more comfortable playing a big stage, and yet Tiana Bernard crossed over from stage right to lean precipitously forward with her bass, as Kevin Wesley jumped into the air and often lunged into his guitar riffs. During "ISSSWTD," it almost looked like Wesley was going to jump himself right off the stage in an especially heady moment.
Tom Murphy Hot White
Hot White is one of the few bands around these days -- local or otherwise -- that seems to perform with a nearly complete disregard for its personal safety. Amid Darren Kulback's freeflowing but powerful drumming, Bernard and Wesley have created, in the words of Henry Rollins on Black Flag, the perfect soundtrack for a full scale riot. But musically, Hot White is more Fort Thunder and 31G style.
Tom Murphy Lucky Dragons - Luke Fishbeck to far left or "human noise circuit"
Lucky Dragons probably isn't the kind of project that plays venues like the Bluebird Theater often because it's almost more performance art than just music. This time, it was just Luke Fishbeck set up on the first tier from the pit with small speakers, a mixer, a computer and other devices.
During his set, he employed an effect that sounded similar to a transducer turning vibration and contact into electronic impulses. A low-end drone played in the background while something that sounded like graduated glasses with the rims being rubbed produced frequencies that resembled a kind of melody.
Things got interesting when Fishbeck used CDs to trigger another device in a box that seemed to pick up on interruptions in and reflections of light and he handed CDs to various members of the audience to participate in modulating the sound the same way.
Ultimately, though, he handed cables out into the audience to create a kind of circuit that artist Elena Stonaker, who participated in the human feedback loop, later said felt like a little bit like a shock but that it felt stimulating and uplifting.
The circuit shifted, changed and then lost steam after a surprisingly extended tenure among the people who sat in a circle around Fishbeck. The whole time, projections illuminated parts of the stage and some of the people around Fishbeck's set-up. The interactive aspect of this performance turned what might have been just a kind of performance piece into something powerfully ritualistic in the best sense.