Friday, August 02, 2013
Savages w/ Johnny Hostile @ El Rey Theater- 07.24.13
It is truly unfortunate that some bands just don't include San Diego in their tour plans. Such was the case last Wednesday when the opportunity to see post-rock four piece Savages came with the caveat that attendance would require a trip up to Hollywood and the El Rey to make it happen. Regardless of the soul crushing rush hour traffic on the 405, it was most definitely worth the drive. More after the jump...
Formed less that two years ago, the all female London- based quartet released their debut LP Silence Yourself in early May amid a buzz that had been building courtesy of some very friendly press and their first US tour culminating in an early afternoon set at Coachella. After taking a short break, they returned to the US in early July to kick off a month long coast-to-coast tour that finished up with two nights in LA, the second of which was added after the first show sold out in approximately .2 seconds.
Wednesday night's show kicked off with a short set from one man act (and Silence Yourself co-producer) Johnny Hostile. Apart from appearances by Savages' guitarist Gemma Thompson and singer Jehnny Beth for a song each, Hostile was accompanied solely by his own heavily echo'd voice, sparse guitar/ bass work and a bevy of pedals on the floor in front of him. The steadily pounding beats and darkly intense presence that permeated throughout the 45 minute show set the stage perfectly for Savages' similarly-themed performance.
As she stalked the front of the stage and gave an icy stare to the crowd, frontwoman Beth clearly indicated that these women meant business and from the moment that Thompson ripped into the distorted opening chords of 'I Am Here', the entire show was defined by the relentlessly aggressive and extremely tight execution of every single song. Whether it was Thompson, Beth, bassist Ayse Hassan or drummer Fay Milton, each member individually displayed incredible skill. As a whole, the level of refinement and tightness gave the impression that they had been playing together much longer than they have. After finishing the set with the mantra- driven 'Fuckers', the band left the stage as quickly and quietly as they had taken it, leaving the delirious crowd vibrating from the residual energy of what they had just witnessed.
If you missed out this go around, Savages have a return engagement in LA (again with no SD date) on September 30 for a one night performance at the Fonda Theater. Tix will be available here when they go on sale tomorrow (08.03.13).
For more images from the show click here and additional concert photography click here.
All images © Nate Vandermeulen- please ask for permission before downloading or linking.