Sealion, Bludded Head and Def Rain Played A Sweaty Show That The City of Dallas Paid To Record.
Plastered. That's how many left the fourth and final live recording session for Vice Palace's live cassette tape series on Saturday night. Tough to blame them: The Aqua Lab Sound Recordings-hosted effort included sets from Vulgar Fashion (which hadn't performed live since Halloween '14), Def Rain, Bludded Head and Sealion, and it doused its at-capacity crowd in sound, grime and sweat.
Right after the night's stated 9 p.m. start, Vulgar Fashion's electronic pulses began sinking into the audience. Many watched in awe of the balance before them, while others embraced the tape-grinding rhythms and danced within. The set, barely 17 minutes long and shrouded in mystery, was an excellent entry back into the scene that so proudly adored the Denton-based duo.
Welcoming a more swelled audience, Def Rain followed, starting its set with a warped take on the theme for the '70s television show Taxi, confusing the younger audience members in the space before inviting them back in with more usual rounds of the band's deep electronic harmony. With soaring, angelic vocals, Ashley Cromeens bobbed and weaved through endless bursts of flash from the many photographers crammed into the tight confines and eased the audience into a tantalizing groove.
With a far heavier and more vile sound of its own, Bludded Head then immediately derailed the night's early electronic direction. Fronted by acclaimed visual artist Nevada Hill, with Pinkish Black's Jon Teague on drums, Donovan Ford (New Science Projects, Joy Sores, etc.) on bass and Tamara Cauble Brown (Telegraph Canyon) on violin, this particular Bludded Head lineup brought on feelings of a violent purging; you could feel, for a moment, your body start to shut down as it simultaneously roared along to the down-tempo prime.
Crazy stuff, considering this whole tape venture from Vice Palace is financially backed the City of Dallas and all.
That, at least, was a fact not lost on Sealion frontman Hunter Moehring, who, during his band's close-out set for both this night and the live Vice Palace tape recording process as a whole, noted as much to his crowd.
“This is going to be in the Dallas Public Library, you know,” he said at one point during his band's remarkably house show- feeling set. Bodies couldn’t help but slam back and forth into one another. Playing songs both new and old, the band roared through its set much to the delight of those on-hand, but probably to the detriment of those who might one day hear this performance in the future. No matter: Vice Palace's tape series was conceived with the idea of capturing an energy more than a sound.
On this night, we're sure that it did.