Live: Ariel Pink, Harlem, Philadephia Grand Jury

Ariel Pink and group are worth keeping an eye on.

Last Friday night began with Harlem at The Echo. I like these guys.  Their “Friendly Ghost” was a fave track earlier this year but I’d heard their live shows don’t match their studio output.  I’m afraid that was the case for me.  They probably wanted to emulate major influences Nirvana in that band’s loud punk early stages, but it was hard to hear anything and the vocals seemed way off.  To be fair, they said they were enduring major technical issues, so I might have gotten them on an extremely bad night.

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti were playing downstairs at the sold-out Echoplex. This was a hot ticket and the band has a developed a newfound buzz on their current album.  Ariel’s response to their growing fame?  “If this is your first time seeing us, shame on you!”  This band has traditionally been lo-fi, and that was certainly the sound of their set.  They’ve got some great musical ideas, and Pink has the potential to become a star over time.  The fans were into the show, but I expected a little more excitement in the air.  Definitely a band to keep an eye and ear on.

Philadelphia Grand Jury moved to London from Sydney following their blowout Musexpo LA performance in April.  They’re heading back to Australia for some major gigs.  The band is doing well down under, and their positive vibes appeal to everyone from metalheads to art rockers.  They absolutely deliver live and have a number of strong tunes in the arsenal.  Last night’s show was at the Silverlake Lounge, which is a funky club without much of a stage.  These guys need to be elevated higher so that their energy projects over the crowd.  Still, a good time was had by all.


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2 Responses to “Live: Ariel Pink, Harlem, Philadephia Grand Jury”

  1. Haakon says:

    “The band has traditionally been lo-fi”… what the fuck does that even mean?

    The music is not lo-fi any more. The recent album is a full on studio project that is definitely a high-fidelity listening experience. Yeah, his previous albums aren’t, because they were made at home on a 4 track tape recorder.

    I saw them the next night in San Francisco. The band was amazing. They are all super awesome performers and fantastic musicians… everyone except for Ariel himself. He put on probably the worse performance I have EVER seen. I don’t know what the deal was, but he spent the majority of the concert yelling at the staff and at the fans. He refused to sing his songs in any way other than the most annoying and taunting manner. He flat out didn’t sing a single line from a good 4 songs, choosing to just whine obnoxiously in to a microphone. He tried to leave the stage after each song and there seemed to be some sort of “handler” whose job it was to make sure that he could finish the set. He hated the audience. It was the most full blown case of extreme narcissism that I have ever witnessed. He should not get on stage. This wasn’t part of his act.

    Why record a great sounding studio album with some real pop gems, and then just mock the songs and the audience while performing them?

    I dunno, maybe he was just really fucked up. It was San Francisco so there’s no shortage of powerful mind altering substances.

    But whatever… fuck this guy. He might be a good song writer but I won’t be able to bring myself to listen to any of his material for a long time.

  2. Bruce Rave says:

    Interesting, and thanks for the SF update. That is fucked up. We got a little bit of that attitude in LA as I mentioned but not nearly that bad. I totally agree this album is less lo-fi than everything else they’ve done, but the sound of the LA gig was very much lo-fi.

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