Velvet Acid Christ at Casselman's, 2/9/13

Categories: Concert Reviews

Tom Murphy
Velvet Acid Christ on stage at Casselman's Bar & Venue in Denver


At one point or another during Velvet Acid Christ's set, Bryan Erickson became winded, and he joked about how it was the altitude. He then said it was probably that he was out of shape because of too much eating, and then noted how at this age, he would have to eat less and less in order to lose weight. All joking aside, Erickson proved to be a lively performer whose sense of humor did nothing to distract one from the visceral power of this music live.

See also:
- For the first time in more than a decade, Velvet Acid Christ performs live
- Bryan Erickson of Velvet Acid Christ on keeping friendships to a minimum make time for music
- Review + photos: The Photo Atlas at the hi-dive, 2/8/13

Tom Murphy
Velvet Acid Christ at Casselman's Bar & Venue

If, like most people, you'd only heard this music in its studio form for years, experiencing the music live really brought it to life in a way that only that size of sound system to bolster the performances and Erickson's jovial, but intense, presence possibly could.

Beyond just the power of the sound, there really was something larger than life about this show. Erickson's humor and charisma were undeniable and the musicianship was flawless, but it was also the first show of a tour after a thirteen year live performance hiatus, so you can only imagine how things will be three or four shows into the tour when all kinks worked out -- not that any were obvious beyond some manual adjustments Erickson had to make between songs. But even that didn't really hold up what was a sonically and musically captivating set that stirred the imagination.

For this extremely rare live set from Velvet Acid Christ, the songs were culled from a broad spectrum of the band's career. Fittingly enough, there seemed to be fans from all periods of Erickson's long running project. One of the strongest reactions from the crowd came for the Church of Acid track, "Futile," which began with an extended sample from a movie in which a narrator said, "Death is irrelevant," as in it's not the ultimate end of all things. For his part, Erickson spent the entire show striding back and forth across the stage, striking dramatic poses and seeming to stagger from the weight of emotion.

"Fun With Drugs" took on a menacing feel not as obvious from the recording. The Calling Ov the Dead track "Malfunction" seemed to embody a dystopian future like the musical equivalent of a Philip K. Dick story. With a bit of footage from the end of The Quiet Earth as a projection, a planet like Saturn rising on the horizon like a moon. "Crushed," meanwhile, began with an ethereal synth swell that gave way to a heavy, echoing, atmospheric, yet driving, bass line that guided the song from the otherworldly to the hyper real and visceral.

Tom Murphy
Velvet Acid Christ at Casselman's Bar & Venue

In the last third of the show, Velvet Acid Christ did a cover of Edward Ka-Spel's "Even Now" and Erickson modified his usual whispered near scream to something more conventionally musical in the manner of the spooky Ka-Spel. The set ended with the instrumental song "Ghost in the Circuit," with just Todd Loomis and the other musician performing the music at their respective bank of gear. Erickson came back on for what sounded like "Icon" followed by "Phucked Up Phreak" and "The Calling."

Location Info

Casselman's Bar & Venue

2620 Walnut St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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