Published by JB.
All of this for $10. Fucking wow. In what will go down as the 5000th amazingly strange, eclectic and outrageous evening of music at First Avenue, the 7th St. Entry hosted three very different 45 minute sets last night. Ranging from the over-the-top, bare-ass-wagging, testicle fondling of Tickle Torture (which for the first time in my concert history I’ve seen the front of row of fans move AWAY from the front of the stage in fear of any oncoming disease from the lead singer’s gyrations) to the delicate, electronic pop of Geographer and finishing with the wonderfully brilliant psychedelic pop of Painted Palms. It was 2014’s version of the best $10 you could spend on a Saturday night. For the price of a cheeseburger you could have this instead.
Tickle Torture photos and descriptions don’t do it justice. Lead singer and resident, crazed sexual psychopath Elliott Kozel bared it all (and tried to share it) during one of the first ever sets where the crowd looked in fear while hoping his casper-like white ass wouldn’t be shoved into their faces. Some victims weren’t so fortunate. Where Kozel was often hoping the crowd would play a game of scratch-and-sniff with him, his antics actually disguised some downright killer R&B jams that his band was busting out. Clearly leaning towards the androgynous stage stylings of the 1979-1981 era of Prince, Kozel’s voice carried well even though his striptease act upstaged some outstanding music. But it wasn’t boring.
Geographer and Painted Palms shared the co-headline bill and the women in the crowd were swooning largely over Geographer’s very talented Mike Deni. Deni’s G-rated performance was a breath of fresh air (literally!) after Tickle Torture made us yearn for some Febreeze. Deni appears from all angles to be a budding, indie pop star. Good looks and doe-like eyes, catchy pop, captivating stage presence and enough musical talent to easily carry him further into his next career move. Moving nicely from lead vocals to the keyboard and guitar he showcased a tiny sample of his obvious range of talents.
Reese Donohue and Christopher Prudhomme of Painted Palms dominated the evening though. Blasting away with some brief, Floydian psychedelic jamming and extended versions of some of their best songs (and from such a tiny catalog they have an inordinate amount of great, catchy, Beatles-esque tracks). Actually, I described them to others before the show as sounding like the Beatles if the Beatles were still making music in 2014. Enormously catchy, extremely melodic and brief, tiny pop gems – sound familiar to the Fab 4? It’s ok being the 10,000th band in the world to be unfairly compared to that Liverpool band, but in this instance it seems remotely appropriate. Where bands like Oasis killed off their Beatles influence by trying to dominate stadium rock, Painted Palms scratches exactly where it itches without being over-bearing like the Gallagher brothers. The elongated versions that Painted Palms provided Saturday night showed off some refreshing improvisation that is often absent from bands that are content playing it just like it sounds on record.
Painted Palms is a growing beast of a pop band. Whatever they plan to release in 2015 could be devastatingly good. I’m voting for a double-album with 24 brand new 3-minute pop gems and an 8-minute closer. At times even remind me of the varying styles of MGMT, except not as weird, and better. An immensely talented live set that at times is jaw dropping.