Midday Veil at Rhinoceropolis, 5/13/11
Tom Murphy Midday Veil
With Décollage • Tjutjuna • Mike Zorman
Nightshark • Night of Joy
05.13.11 | Rhinoceropolis
This was one of those Rhino shows that started early. Opening the proceedings was a group calling itself Décollage, a sort of five-piece, with a guitarist, a drummer, a bassist, a singer/keys player and a guy doing live painting. Musically it was a kind of outsider synth pop if Jad Fair decided to take a break from rock and roll and lent his voice to this band's frontman.
Tom Murphy Décollage
Out back, just outside the garage on a former loading dock, Tjutjuna had set up to play. But this was a version of the band without Adam Shaffner. Even without him, it was interesting to see this band play under the moon and crime lights tucked into one part of that back patio of Rhino, sending out its cosmic instrumental psych into the night.
Tom Murphy Tjutjuna
At one point, Robert Ballentyne made a special moment by tripping the magnetic field of the Theremin with the neck of the bass while playing it, making both sound good. For the final number, the guitar unleashed an enveloped wail like some inter-dimensional beast kept in check by the force of Brian Marcus' playing and James Barone's steady but richly textured beats.
Tom Murphy Midday Veil
Back inside, Seattle's Midday Veil set-up projections of colorful, geometric patterns and similar abstract images that flowed, evolved, flashed and illuminated the room, both literally and figuratively, in time with the music. Analog synth-sounds and noise interweaved with two layers of guitar -- one standard electric and the other baritone -- that complemented each other rhythmically with leads in different ranges of sound.
Emily Pothast's vocals, meanwhile, were smoky and bluesy yet versatile and commanding. Her and David Golightly's gestures seemed to be pulled along by the force of the music and Timm Mason was clearly caught up in the moment; his guitar gyrations made for a visually compelling show above and beyond the projections. This made for a show both visceral and otherworldly -- a rare combination at the best of times.
Halfway through the set, the band surprised some of us who recognized it with a cover of "Pendulum" by Broadcast. With the recent passing of Trish Keenan, it was good to see a band pull off such a challenging cover with alternate instrumentation and doing justice to the original. Even with a short set, Midday Veil was memorable, and its performances of originals like "Anthem" and "Eyes All Around" made you feel like you were seeing something special before the rest of the world really knows about it. It was a performance best experienced in a small place like Rhino but destined for larger stages. And that largely because this band's music felt like one expanded inside by its presence.