This past Wednesday was a hectic day for me. I had just flown in from Cuba and rolled into bed at 3am. When I awoke, I had to get some work done and then rush off to Toronto for meetings. I was hoping I would have enough time and/or energy to see Earthless. The opening bands for the show were new to me. Kikagaku Moyo is a Japanese psychedelic band and JJUUJJUU (featuring Phil Pirrone of Desert Daze Festival fame) is a psychedelic kraut drone band from LA.
I was able to get to the venue before the bands went on and grab up some albums. I proceeded to the right front of the stage, put my earplugs in and JJUUJJUU walked onto the stage. Perfect timing.
JJUUJJUU were first to hit the stage and they did a great job. I could tell the other musicians were digging it as well. Earthless and the lads from Kikagaku Moyo were also digging it. I could see them in the back control room area above the stage checking the show out. The vocals reminded me of a trippier Burton Cummings. If The Guess Who and early Pink Floyd had a love child, it would be JJUUJJUU.
Kikagaku Moyo – These lads flew across the Pacific Ocean with one thing on their minds. To completely rule the stages of North America. They put on one hell of a show. The musicians behind the scenes were in disbelief of what they were hearing. So were we out in the audience. Not since the days of The Beatles have a band had such an amazing sitar sound. Mix that with late 60’s/early 70’s psychy, trippy vibes and I felt like I was transported back 50 years to a fans acid trip at Fillmore.
Lastly, Earthless took the stage. Any lesser band would have hopped on the tour bus before their set and got the heck out of Dodge. The acts before were so strong that they would have to be pretty much perfect to follow. Lucky for Earthless and those in attendance, the band was on fire. Including a number of instrumental psych songs from their past and a bunch of songs with vocals off their new album, they were the complete package. Something for everyone to like. Of note during the Earthless set was the light show provided by LA based Mad Alchemy Liquid Lightshow. It was very space trippy. It reminded me of watching the Hilarious House Of Frightenstein. There was a minor glitch with the lighting that was quickly fixed. This was the only minor miscue all night.
Overall I would say this was easily my best concert so far in 2018. It will be very hard to top. Sadly the video I took of the other bands had poor sound so I won’t do the bands a disservice by posting them. I guess I’ll just have to see them again. Of note for me was the comradery these 3 bands showed, the respect they showed each other by watching their fellow musicians play, and not just hang out in the dressing room all night. Also, the fact that members of all 3 bands hung out after the shows with the audience shaking hands, chatting, signing stuff and being really cool. Thanks dudes.