Concert Reviews

No Age at Bluebird Theater, 12/01/10

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Hot White is one of the few bands around these days -- local or otherwise -- that seems to perform with a nearly complete disregard for its personal safety. Amid Darren Kulback's freeflowing but powerful drumming, Bernard and Wesley have created, in the words of Henry Rollins on Black Flag, the perfect soundtrack for a full scale riot. But musically, Hot White is more Fort Thunder and 31G style.

Lucky Dragons probably isn't the kind of project that plays venues like the Bluebird Theater often because it's almost more performance art than just music. This time, it was just Luke Fishbeck set up on the first tier from the pit with small speakers, a mixer, a computer and other devices.

During his set, he employed an effect that sounded similar to a transducer turning vibration and contact into electronic impulses. A low-end drone played in the background while something that sounded like graduated glasses with the rims being rubbed produced frequencies that resembled a kind of melody.

Things got interesting when Fishbeck used CDs to trigger another device in a box that seemed to pick up on interruptions in and reflections of light and he handed CDs to various members of the audience to participate in modulating the sound the same way.

Ultimately, though, he handed cables out into the audience to create a kind of circuit that artist Elena Stonaker, who participated in the human feedback loop, later said felt like a little bit like a shock but that it felt stimulating and uplifting.

The circuit shifted, changed and then lost steam after a surprisingly extended tenure among the people who sat in a circle around Fishbeck. The whole time, projections illuminated parts of the stage and some of the people around Fishbeck's set-up. The interactive aspect of this performance turned what might have been just a kind of performance piece into something powerfully ritualistic in the best sense.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.