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Review: Temples, Wampire, Fever the Ghost

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What do you get when you sandwich a Polyvinyl band between two Heavenly Recordings artists? A BLT — brilliant little time. Last night at Crescent Ballroom, Stateside Presents coordinated a cohesive show opened with the “mecha, fantasy, girl glitch” conjured up by Fever the Ghost, moved along by the sonically flavored “off-kilter pop” of Wampire, and headlined by the England-bred psychedelic rock of Temples.

Casper Indrizzo, fever the ghost

Casper Indrizzo veiled.

The evening began promptly with a set from Fever the Ghost. The four piece from Los Angeles played on a dimmly lit, fog-filled stage. Lead singer Casper Indrizzo wore a hooded cape and veil that put him out of sight for nearly the entire set. The getup added an otherwordly element to the performance, which paired well with the band’s glammed up psych rock.

Casper Indrizzo, fever the ghost

Casper Indrizzo unveiled.

The crowd seemed intrigued early on and though their motionless bodies didn’t express much — I think they liked it. If nothing else, the underage section rumbled in approval. The band members didn’t do much to interact with the crowd or each other. It wasn’t until Indrizzo took off his cape and veil, before the last song, that the audience seemed to lighten up and let loose.

Eric Phipps, Wampire

Eric Phipps of Wampire

Next up was Portland‘s Wampire. The drummer wore red lipstick, most of the members dressed as if it was the late 1980s or early 1990s, and the band mirrored the vibe of the audience. I was lucky enough to win a vinyl of the band’s forthcoming release Bazaar, due Oct. 7 on Polyvinyl, so I had some idea of what would be played. For the record, do yourself a favor a pre-order the record. It’s a beautiful purple marbled vinyl that sounds as good as it looks. A decent portion of the band’s set was dedicated to new songs, but I found myself most transfixed during the performance of “Trains,” which is from 2013’s Curiosity. “The Amazing Heart Attack” and “Bad Attitude” were fun to watch live and got people moving. Around the halfway point of the set, Eric Phipps joked, “Thanks for coming out. I normally reserve my Monday nights for crying and masturbating.” I think the fans were glad Phipps and the group could pencil Phoenix in. All in all, it was a solid set from a group whose recorded music translates well in a live setting.

James Bagshaw, Temples, Temples review, Temples band live

James Bagshaw of Temples

Temples is a psychedelic rock group that looks and sounds as if it stepped out of another decade, but not in a kitschy sort of way. Their look is believable, their music is groovy and isn’t that what it’s all about? The group opened the set with “Sun Structures” (watch here), the perfect song to set the tone. The performance only got better as it went on. Lead singer and guitarist James Bagshaw, dressed in all black and sporting his fringe and trademark big hair, moved all across the stage and got concertgoers to elevate their energy to a level I was worried they’d never reach.

A Question Isn’t Answered,” “Prisms,” “Colours to Life,” “The Golden Throne,””Ankh,” “Move with the Season” and “Keep in the Dark” were all on the set list and are mostly from the group’s debut studio album, Sun Structures. The band jammed for nearly nine minutes. “Shelter Song” closed out the set and Temples left for a brief moment before returning for an encore. The original set list showed a two-song encore (“Fragment’s Light” and “Mesmerise“) but the band only played one song — an extended version of “Mesmerise” (watch here) that melted my brain and rang my ears in the best way possible. Perhaps the group was a little lost when they came back on stage to find that all of their set lists had been snatched by fans, even a lady who was bold enough to climb on stage to grab the drummer’s.

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Aside from the set list deviations and a minor sound glitch (“snares sound like shit”), the show went well from start to finish. The evening was a crescendo of psychedelia and one of my favorite concerts so far this year — well-balanced and over before midnight. What more could you want from a Monday-night show?

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