FOMO Fest At The Echo, Sunday February 15th 2015
The FOMO fest (Fear Of Missing Out Fest) at the Echo on Sunday was quite a time, a long day of music with a relatively low attendance — and I blame the 40th anniversary of SNL on TV for this — but full of musical discoveries. I mean I truly have this fear of missing out all the time, and everyone has a DVR right? I ended up seeing 14 bands, which is quite a lot for the same afternoon/evening, and I will try to remember about all of them… Thanks god or whatever, I took notes!
Inside the Echo, the quintet Golden Daze started the festivities with hard-hitting drums, dreamy vocals, shimmering guitars and a synth. They had a big and upbeat sound, partly psychedelic in a bombastic way, partly breezy and sunny, but I couldn’t decide whether they were hitting the beach or the desert. I just know that their last song, called ‘Foreigner’ just like the old band (but sounding nothing like it) had a catchy tempo with lots of harmonies and a cathartic ending. According to DoLA, they have just signed to Loma Vista Recordings, so the future is wide open for them.
StaG was another quintet and they had a lot going on too. They were dynamic poppy dancers with front synth and guitars, unleashing a real energy in heartfelt choruses. But there was a wind of adventure in some songs, opening large open fields with percussion and exotic noises wrapped around keyboard and fast dance stabbing beats… You know what, at time they sounded as if Lord Huron or Vampire Weekend had a disco party but it was probably more complex than this. They announced the upcoming release of an EP called ‘No no Dig up Stupid!!’, and I bet I will hear their triumphant music again.
On the patio Winter were a bit late on the schedule, but their blue-hair frontgirl (Samira Winter) captivated the audience as soon as she played her nonchalant Kurt-Vile-meets-Best-Coast tunes, going crazier midway through. One song sounded like a long road in the desert with whimsical female vocals, and Winter, barefoot and with a large smile on her face, was wiggling almost the whole time.
Kim & the Created was mostly Kim, a tall blonde girl tight in a one-piece bodysuit which seemed to be painted on her. Her set was short but very efficient, she was jumping in the dark, moving her slender body in all directions, doing all kinds of bold stage antics. She was looking like a giant gold salamander shining in the dark, dancing over an aggressive punk-rock guitar and drums, screaming and lamenting, with a weird stare at the corner of her eyes, looking terrifying and terrified at the same time, wanting to be Iggy Pop, Ziggy Stardust and probably Nina Hagen all together.
Back to the patio, Pageants was a very quiet trio, with frontgirl Rebecca Coleman going from synth swirls to guitar licks with dreamy vocals, like a Best Coast dreaming of Beach House. It was getting even dreamier when she was taking the guitar, as good as a tart sweet candy… Coleman was part of the recently debanded Avi Buffalo, who had a very Shins-esque song a few years ago, so there is no mystery there. Inside the Echo, Bobby London had a dynamic sax-synth-keys vintage sound, a bit jazzy-bluesy and very retro, revisiting the 50s, like artist Nick Waterhouse does it… just with more wobbling keys.
Harriet Brown was in fact a guy with a guitar and a bunch of electronics on a table, and he sounded like Prince with a new haircut, or may be like Beck singing ‘Debra’? Like for many other bands – I saw too many of them during the afternoon and evening – I unfortunately didn’t stay till the end of his set, but the beat machine and funky guitar had a very psychedelic R&B ambiance.
Inside, Line & Circle brought a big sound with layered instruments, vocal ethereal harmonies and jangling guitars, the sort of sound built to empower you. I would not say that some songs sounded like Springsteen’s but they evoked big spaces may be like a Mellencampf tune, and I wasn’t not too far from the truth because they dedicated one song to people from the Midwest. However, their music was more diverse than this, feeling multi-influenced, going almost Cure-like with a ballet of guitars.
On the patio, Melted was the real deal, punk-wise, loud and fast with a wild energy of high-school boys (some of them are still in high school!) who break everything at the end of the set, and they almost did. Look, they named themselves after Ty Segall’s breakthrough record, so why not? Inside the Echo, Paul Bergmann, a sort of good-looking Lyell Lovett, was all calm and darkness with an old fashioned atmosphere and an upright bass. He was crooning over sprawling slow-paced ballads, with a countrish- folk tone and coming with the whistle and harmonica.
Back to the patio, Traps PS had the strangeness of a bipolar Talking Heads, and the dissonance of punk veterans like Mike Watt. There were a lot of weird high-pitch screams, some abrupt stops and totally unexpected and chopped turns, which were experimental but totally rewarding if you are into the unpredictable. They were so raw and punk that the guitarist broke a string and continued with someone’s else guitar. Meanwhile, inside the Echo, Bouquet, a duo synth-guitar was a contrast of sweetness, calm and male-female harmonies, with eerie voices singing lullaby-like ballads.
If some bands may make it more than some others Talk In Tongues may be one of these? The quintet was almost a boy band although there was a girl behind on a computer behind the scene, and their cherub harmonies and catchy melodies probably produced one the most original sounds of the night. The quintet brought a 60’s ambiance and at the same time, a mix of surf guitars, strong and bold bass lines and a sort of psychedelic adventurous vibe. They almost sounded like a soundtrack for a TV series where beautiful adolescents have the perfect life, and their last song was very Tame Impala by the way.
No Parents closed the night and they were a crazy bunch to handle, but I am mostly talking about their frontman who played your favorite SNL drunk uncle with unpredictable antics. They were punk of course with a poppy side on some songs but there was nothing cute about them. The frontman had decided to do a progressive strip tease revealing a real advanced beer belly for his young age, while playing the fat disgusting guy who couldn’t care for anything. He was the wild card of the night, rolling his back on the beer split on stage, laughing like a cartoon character, jumping on the crowd and throwing his sweaty naked body on people and arriving like a bullet at my level. during half a second, I thought, no he is not going to do that! But it was too late, next thing I remember I was laying on the floor and that idiot had violently bumped into me and my cameras… But I forgive him, he was in full character constantly putting his hand inside his boxer brief and faking masturbation… Oh I have seen everything so there is nothing that can shock me and after all Iggy Pop kind of did the same thing when I saw him and he dedicated a song to his penis! But this No Parents guy was a true showman, and he was still throwing empty beer cans to people’s faces when I left the Echo on my knees.