Written by: Michael Mitchell
Photos by Janet L. Mitchell and Michael Mitchell
Body of Light
Union Stage – Washington D.C.
August 8, 2019
Generally speaking, when I walk into a show as the first band is already on stage, it doesn’t bother me.
However, on this occasion it did.
Body of Light, which is comprised of brothers Alex and Andrew Jarson, have recently released one of my favorite new albums, Time to Kill on Dais Records. Their energy was absolutely contagious. Alex commanded and danced around the stage like the bastard child of Ian Curtis and David Gahan. There was a good showing of new songs, too. Five of the seven tracks performed were from their latest release, including the title cut, the amazing single, “Don’t Pretend” and what I hope is the next single, “Dangerous.”
Their set was sadly short, but their presence is not to be missed live.
HIDE came onstage within a relative short span after Body of Light. I knew nothing of the band prior to this performance, so I was a blank canvas as to what was about to transpire. With a menacing, “Turn all the lights off please,” Heather Gabel signaled the start to their set. Everything went black and bandmate Seth Sher began the electronic onslaught. Palpable jolts of energy filled the club as the intensity of the beat and the anguish in Heather’s voice pierced right through me. Holy shit. It was hard to take photographs. Not only because of the strobe lights and smoke, but Heather’s ubiquitous strides as if she was going to launch herself right at us. Dropping down on the stage while wailing out words that no doubt are of pain and anger, she was mesmerizing and infectious.
They have some powerful songs that I am sad to say I don’t know, but trust me, I’m going to learn. They are Modern Industrial at it’s finest.
This was my first time seeing the Los Angeles outfit Drab Majesty live and I have to say that my expectations were really high. Friends from social media hyped them to a degree that I thought might be unattainable. As setup for the band commenced, two familiar figures also came out to help. Andrew Clinco and Alex Nicolaou, better know as Deb Demure and Mona D. respectively. Andrew was decked out in a Japan t-shirt that made me jealous as did Alex’s Love & Rockets tee. Is this normal for them to be out here and not getting into make-up? Who cares, it was really cool to see them au natural, setting up their equipment in preparation for teleporting us outside our natural realm.
Then came the wait. I suppose that was the price to pay for seeing them onstage soundchecking out of character. But the 30 minutes melted away once the lights went down and “A Dialogue” began. The audience were transfixed as the meditative track bellowed out.
Most of the night was dedicated to their latest opus, Modern Mirror. As a matter of fact, the only track from the new album not to feature in the set was “Dolls in the Dark” (which is a shame). Great renditions of “Dot in the Sky,” “39 by Design,” “Cold Souls” and “Too Soon to Tell” from their modern classic, The Demonstration. Their debut album, Careless, was represented by the track “Everything is Sentimental.”
I don’t think there was a still body in the house while they were on stage. The infectiousness of their music held everyone in a trance and song after song, they were perfection. They would play two or three songs in a row and then there was a small interlude from Mona whilst Deb tuned up for the next few numbers. This was a nice pause in between making the anticipation build for what was to come. It seemed like it made an all too short evening last a wee bit longer.
They are a must see live act and pooled together with HIDE and Body of Light it was an unforgettable evening.