Show Review: Small Black @ Red7 (6/18)
After watching the Spurs lose after Ariel Pink at The Mohawk, many of us made the walk a few blocks down to Red7 for Small Black. It was a dance party on a Tuesday. It was hot, it got sweaty. As part of the deal, I saw Heavenly Beat which is a project from John Peña of Beach Fossils.
Heavenly Beat had just taken the stage when I sauntered in. There was that opener crowd’s open space in front of the stage, so naturally I stood in it to get some pics of John and touring guys Christian and Derek (both formerly of Austin). It was a blend of cool and wtf. The bass and added guitar kicked richness to the sound, but there were many times where it was really just John and his MacBook, sometimes just the MacBook. I have a feeling that the live set will get filled out soon enough, but at this point, synth, basslines, drums are all covered by the fourth member of the band with an Apple logo. I am a little mad I let it discourage me because John’s vocal was good and his energy was great spending most of the time on his tip-toes always in motion. …until between songs or downing a Lone Star. Surf-Swede. Swerf?
Small Black was a top act from my SxSW. I put two of their songs on my summer playlist. I dig Limit of Desire.
The story was quite different when Small Black was playing their songs. Instruments were in motion, even getting handed around a bit. You always had a sense of live creation, despite the use of synth related backing tracks. They were an add-on, filling out, not front and center. They brought extra lighting, though the warm breeze through Red7 prevented the smoke machine
starts to bloooow from creating the desired atmosphere. Worse problems to have, I reckon.
Song wise, “Breathless” came across brilliantly, the oldies still had legs. Should have bought the vinyl, sorry.
More pics at the photo site…