Show Review: Helio Sequence @ Red 7 (6/9)

With the weather warming up a bit, we decided it was best to attend the Helio Sequence with 3/4 of the ATH team in attendance; you’ve got to have strength in numbers in case you get dehydrated.  The band blew into town fresh on the heels of their latest, self-titled, album.  They brought along Portland’s Lost Lander as openers, and treated us to a set of hits and new favorites.

Read on for more thoughts and plenty of bgray pics…

RayRay was excited to catch Lost Lander.  They recently released their Medallion LP, but we’ve been keeping an eye on them since their first LP hit.  For all intents and purposes, the group was a really pleasant start to the evening.  Their set provided those filing in with solid pop tunes, blending in various sounds via synthesizer and guitars to craft tunes that reminded me an awful lot of Here We Go Magic.  That being said, their set didn’t blow me away, though I didn’t hate it either; it was a middle of the road solid set of tunes, up until they played their hit, “Afraid of Summer” to close out the night. I’m not really sure why there’s such indifference here.  The songs were good, the performance was tight; I guess I’m just not the hugest fan of their sound. Still, worth getting there early to catch them.

Then came the reason so many of the ATH team showed up at Red 7, the Helio Sequence.  Perhaps it’s best to start coverage of the set with the opening words from Josh at the Mohawk, who was handling stage duties.  His exact words escape me, but it was something to the effect that HS make essential records, albums that can be played from start to finish, played on your stereo time and time again.  It even amazed me how fresh these songs sounded to my ears, even having not listened to albums like Keep Your Eyes Ahead in some time.  Josh was right.

They mastered their set; they combined new songs mixed fluidly into the audiences favorites from album’s past.  Of course “Keep Your Eyes Ahead”  and “October” garnered special adoration, though I know my date made sure we stayed through the encore, which included “Hallelujah.”  Having seen tons of duos in my days, I’d also like to note that I don’t think anyone’s perfected the approach quite like these two.  For one, I think Ben Weikel defines the term “drum face;” it’s hard not to be captivated by his facial ticks with every single touch of the sticks to the kit.  But, you can’t ignore his counterpart either, especially when it comes to the seemingly effortless vocal delivery of Brandon Summers. They work so well together, bringing in all their sounds to create this wondrous harmony. It’s marvelous to watch, and I beg you to find another duo as captivating.

Bottom line…the Helio Sequence does craft essential albums, but it’s time their live shows also get some recognition. After our attendance, I can say that these are equally as essential to your life as their recorded music.

Photo guy notes: The well lit girl up front bought her violin like eight years ago from the singer guy. Cool.

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