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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Black Elk and Akimbo

posted by on July 27 at 12:29 PM

It was a little strange seeing Portland’s Black Elk on the Vera Stage outside; the all-black clad band would seem much more at home inside King Cobra or Neumos. A few songs into their set they ask with a grin, “Hey, where’s the beer?” It took standing next to the stage to really appreciate the sound these guys were pushing: even with the guitarist’s Sunn Model T and and Earth stack the amps lost to the PA twenty feet back. They sound like a modern day Jesus Lizard - for all I know their singer might have actually been David Yow. The drummer snapped off the mallet to his kick pedal in the first hit of the last song. They did not enjoy the large crowd they deserved.

It is a shame there were so many good bands playing at the same time Saturday. The seven bands I really wanted to see were spread across all four stages over two hours, which was lame. None of my choices disappointed, but I was bummed I missed Sleepy Eyes, Chromeo, Throw Me the Statue, and Jaguar Love (although the 30 seconds of Jaguar Love I did hear pumping into the porta potty outside Neumos sounded great: those plastic shitters have great frequency range). The crowds were too intense to try and hop from show to show; way too much time was lost in transit. I wanted to see Chromeo. That was the plan at least. But finding my way to any sort of decent spot from the Vera Stage proved to be a bigger pain in the ass than it was worth. There were just too many damn people. Seeing Akimbo instead was hardly a sacrifice. I talk about these dudes all the time, but it’s for good reason. They are one of Seattle’s finest rock bands, and seeing the crowd bob up and down during the Keith Moon drums and perfect classic rock riffage of “Wizard Von Wizard” was just another reminder of their prowess. “Did anybody here see Black Elk?” Jon W. asked between songs. A few people meekly reply. “The rest of you motherfuckers were watching Fleet Foxes, and that’s a sin as far as I’m concerned.” Like Black Elk, Akimbo’s sound was just too big for the outdoor PA setup, but all you had to do to remedy the situation was stand up close. They closed their set with the debut performance of “Great White Bull” from their upcoming record Jersey Shores:

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Akimbo and Black Elk were practically the only reason I wanted to go to the Block Party this year. I'm not surprised to hear the masses of John Richards clones didn't give them the respect they deserved, and now I'm bummed I missed Akimbo playing "Great White Bull" for the first time! Oh well, September's not THAT far away...

Posted by bunnypuncher | July 27, 2008 12:48 PM

I heard Black Elk from the back of the Cha Cha, and even from there it sounded fucking awesome.

Posted by Eric Grandy | July 27, 2008 1:04 PM

i actually liked hearing them outside after seeing them at el corazon a few weeks ago and before that at neumo's with neurosis. i definitely noticed the difference and yeah i love the big noise it sounded far clearer and mmmm refreshed maybe.

what i did not like at allllll were the metalcore kids windmilling.

Posted by whomsRU | July 28, 2008 11:51 AM

so I've scoured this page and not one pic or review of Book of Black Earth or Zeke? The two best show of the whole weekend and gettin no luv over here? lame..........

Posted by chrisroxx | July 28, 2008 4:05 PM

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