Show Pics: Black Marble @ The Sidewinder (6/24)

You ever go to a show excited about the headliner, and in fact, very impressed by the headliner, but walk away a bigger fan of an opener?

That very thing happened last Saturday when Austin converged on The Sidewinder last Saturday night. Black Marble was outstanding. They ended up selling the place out. However, I was really taken by Body of Light; they were fully on target for the renaissance of analog synth pop/dark wave I am delighted to see surging right now. The fact that openers Draa held their own here was also worth praise.

Click through for a few thoughts and plenty of pics.

The Sidewinder can be fickle venue for me. I love the staff, though the recycled and hand-me-down gear can at times disappoint. This was not one of those nights. The straight up four piece of Draa and simple synth outputs of Body of Light and Black Marble facilitated cleaner sound. What was not clean with the remarkable odor of death emanating from a possum that was decaying on the hillside headed down to Waller Creek. It was rough along the railings where people congregate to try to catch a breeze. The problem can be solved by getting up front or staying in the middle of the crowd and dance. Such are the hazards of an outdoors venue.

Draa was up first. Their brand of pop and elegant jangle smacked of Morrissey if he led Two Door Cinema Club. Plinking “lead” guitar was filled by chords and stepping basslines as the vocal of MacAndrew Martin set a moody tone with lyrics and delivery that belie his youthfulness, big Xs as confirmation that the band is a collection of older souls reaching back to a time before their birthdays. You sensed influence, not plagiarism.

Body of Light won. Sorry to al the Black Marble fans, but their version of dark wave synth pop was damn near perfect. Vocals by Alex, synths by Andrew, brothers originally from Tempe, but HQed in LA, the duo set about their work. Alex wears all back, even sporting black leather gloves to put on the character and control the crowd. Meanwhile, Andrew bobs and weaves behind a stack of synths that placeS Alex in hypnotic marching trance-like dance. “Tremble” is my jam from their time on stage, 90% of which was from the record Let Me Go.

By the time Black Marble hit the stage, the crowd had packed in and the Sold Out sign was proudly displayed leaving a few fans stranded out side. Their sparse melodies echoed off the rock floor and back wall as vocals and instruments were manipulated by pedals and synths on their way to the soundboard. The crowd was in a trance, so much so, it was hard to make your way from door to bar or up front to merch. The band has been peppering in covers from the The Cure and Wire, but the hits like “Iron Lung” from It’s Immaterial resonated best.

Pre-show snacks were at Old Thousand. Go say hi to Logan and company…

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