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Oh My God & Gestapo Khazi Rock the Black Sparrow

September 13, 2010

Oh My God and Gestapo Khazi rocked the crowd at the Black Sparrow last Saturday night. It’s shows like this that remind me why I blog in the first place.

If you’re not familiar with the Black Sparrow, you should be. This small Lafayette restaurant/pub doubles as one of the main live music venues in the city. The owner, Paul Baldwin, revealed that the Sparrow wasn’t originally meant to be a music venue–it just happened organically. And oddly enough, I find it to be a more intimate concert space than the similarly-sized Greyhouse.

The usual suspects attended Saturday’s show: hipsters, my friends, “hipsters” and the most cans of PBR I’ve ever seen in one place. I also ran into some local scene denizens, including Chad Rainey of The Splendid Trend.

California ska-punk quartet, Gestapo Khazi, played first. Chris, a local bon vivant, offered an apt summary of their sound: “This music is like Ska got dumped by his girlfriend and he’s angry.”

Local bon vivant, Chris

Gestapo Khazi had great stage presence, with Erik (vox) working the limited space to its full extent. It was a fierce performance all around, including one of the most intense drummers I’ve seen in Lafayette (it’s a close tie with The Transatlantic). Their guitarist pulled off some crazy strumming–I could hardly see his hands for half the set!

Gestapo Khazi (Photo by Dylan Gordon)

But they are more than the typical “loud-and-fast” fare– melodic arrangements topped off the punk foundation of their songs, adding depth to their sound. Overall, Gestapo Khazi is definitely purchase-worthy (although you can listen for free at their MySpace)!

Next up was Oh My God. This group has a reputation for quirky stage antics, and Saturday’s show did not disappoint. Most alt rock fans are used to vocalists of a more eccentric flavor. Billy O’Neal (vox), however, brings eccentricity to a whole new level. His appearance/mannerisms can make for a shocking first impression. Yet somewhere along the course of robot imitations, “fighting,” and storytelling, the audience’s shock turned to playful admiration. Mid-set, one enamored fan bought O’Neal a shot. Another took off her shirt in solidarity. I asked Michael (drums) how they keep up the dramatic energy at every show. He explained that it’s just a part of their music and how they practice.

Ultimately, the strength of their performance lies in their genre-busting musicianship. Their catchy songs pull from multiple styles, yielding something that doesn’t quite sound like your typical indie circuit fare. Numbers like “The Unbearable Pageant” show off Ig’s skill on organ, while “Volatile” and “Get Steady” deliver booming bass and guitar. They even dip into country  rhythms on “Shine.” All the while, O’Neal’s voice lends a soulful, if not bluesy, taste to their sound.

O'Neal mid-daydream

The crowd ate them up, demanding an encore. It just goes to show that Oh My God’s the kind of band you have to see live. If anything, you’ll have a good story to tell afterward. And did I mention they’re really nice? They actually took the time to talk to me before and after the set, treating me like a person (instead of an annoying fan with a blog).

So there you go: 2 bands to check out!

Sorry there aren’t more photos this week–my camera was on the wrong setting for most of Saturday night, resulting in a lot of distorted (but sorta cool?) photos. Photography tips welcome.


Girl At The Show

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2010 3:05 pm

    I’m glad to hear this show turned out to be such a party! I’m really bummed I missed it.


  1. Oh My God–They’re Back! « Girl At The Show

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