The Black Angels @ Urban Lounge

Posted May 9, 2011 in

Photo: JP

I’d been anticipating The Black Angels' May 6th show since I saw the group play in Austin at SXSW. I distinctly remember after their show at Cedar Street Courtyard thinking to myself how awesome it would be when they returned to Urban Lounge. I typically try to not to build things up this much. In many cases that much anticipation will lead to disappointment. Lucky for me, I was seeing The Black Angels. The Black Angels don’t disappoint.

I arrived at Urban Lounge toward the tail end of Sleepy Sun’s set.  I listened to a few of the songs, which were good, as was the group’s stage presence, but quite frankly I was a little distracted by the main attraction that night and spent more time lingering at the merch booth than I did focusing on the opening band.

Much like when The Black Angels played Salt Lake City in December, Urban was packed to the brim. The venue had hit capacity and the only way in was to purchase overpriced tickets from a scalper in front of the venue. Those on the inside, the ones who planned ahead and pre-purchased their tickets, were in for something truly special.  The crowd’s energy was bubbling over long before The Black Angels took the stage and people packed in as close as possible without trampling one another.

When the band took the stage the crowd erupted with cheers and as they played the opening notes of “Bad Vibrations” the energy in the room grew even heavier and more infectious. Within seconds the entire first few rows were completely enamored, dancing as if they’d been possessed. It felt magical. All of a sudden nothing else mattered. The Black Angels were on stage and every other concern or thought was wiped clean from my head as the band’s psychedelic rock and roll washed over the massive crowd. 

It’s hard to say exactly how long the band played for or what ratio of songs came from what album. It isn’t that I wasn’t paying attention, but I was so enthralled with what was happening onstage that I lost myself in the experience. The Black Angels played without breaks, moving seamlessly from one song to the next and creating an intoxicating experience for all that were there to witness. Although it’s hard for me to pinpoint any obvious “high points” during the show I must say some of my favorite songs to hear live were “Black Grease,” “Yellow Elevator” and “Telephone.” The band exited the stage briefly before playing an encore that started around 12:30 am.

Ultimately, The Black Angels delivered everything that I hoped they would. When I left Urban Lounge I couldn’t stop smiling. I’d just gotten to see one of my favorite bands, they played some of my favorite songs, I had a brand new hoodie and a tank top and nothing else mattered. Ultimately, The Black Angels are the type of band who remind me why I initially fell in love with seeing live music and going to shows. And that alone means an immense amount to me.

Photo: JP