Rubedo at Unit E, with Achille Lauro, CougarPants and Hindershot, 5/4/12
RUBEDO @ UNIT E | 5/4/12
In a show of sustained enthusiasm, Rubedo ended its set with one of its most visceral and dynamic numbers: "Give My Heart a Break." The song began with feedback created by Kyle Gray as he held his small, acoustic guitar to his amp. As the sound reached a peak he leapt back to the mike and the whole band crashed into a heavy, bluesy psych riff with an admirably headlong force. In the middle section, the band effortlessly shifted into an abstract, almost ambient, section that unexpectedly dropped into an even heavier, synth-driven final section in which the group came together for its wildest bit of the night. The effect felt like you had been floating in emotional space, and the last part made the music go direct like Mercury, carrying you along in its wake.
The set started with Gray doing a bit of "Walking In the Sand" by The Shangri-Las with plucks of his guitar as accompaniment. Then Gregg Ziemba and Alex Raymond stepped forward with and to their appropriate instruments, and the band went into "Abaissement Du Niveau Mental" after the opening track of Mass Confusa. There was a palpable sense of excitement from the guys, and Gray was clearly swept up in the moment at all times, as his face contorted with the force of emotion.
Tom Murphy Rubedo at Unit E
Rubedo performed a good portion of Massa Confusa, including the Pink Floyd-esque "Antoine Doinel," the raucously warping "40 Day and Night," the almost krautrock "Guise of a Traveling Scholar" and "As Though Love Were Burning His Body," reminiscent of Mercury Rev. Raymond switched between guitar and bass throughout the show, but when he was on bass and Gray was hitting the distorted synth in the same register, it was like getting to see Bright Channel -- the sheer physical impact of the music had an almost psychological effect on you beyond the melody and words.
Raymond and Ziemba joined Gray throughout the show in facial displays of the power of the music running through them as Rubedo created its seamless alchemy of psychedelic rock, prog, R&B and hip-hop. At the end of the show, Gray was encouraged to come off stage onto the crowd and he ended up being carried by people to the middle of the room where he was let down.
Tom Murphy Achille Lauro at Unit E
The whole show started off with Achille Lauro. Matt Close had, apparently, shaved a "720" into the side of his head either for the occasion or just to see what it would be like. Either way, he pulled it off without looking like an idiot. In typical fashion, these guys put all of themselves into the performance.
With Close gesturing when he was not playing guitar or keys and Luke Mossman switching between both instruments in a perfect synch, the pair generated the melodies between them and Jon and Ben Mossman were strong and solidly in the pocket and provided expressive rhythms. It would be difficult to imagine an Achille Lauro show that was less than excellent, and this was no exception.