Saturday, April 16, 2011

Acid Mothers Temple Spring Tour: Philly and Baltimore

Two great shows two days apart for me on this year's Space Ritual 2011 Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO tour, Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia (April 13) and the Ottobar in Baltimore (April 15). AMT spring tours are becoming as reliable as the Grateful Dead's spring tours of yore.

First up, the Philly show was a powerhouse. I rolled up with Trust Aquarian to a sold out Johnny Brenda's and greeted Hiroshi and Tsuyama and AMT's killer driver, Justin! I ducked out for a quick one hit smoke and ran into the Cosmic Commander of Wrestling and my pal Susannah for some babble and such before Acid Mothers took off. I was riding a wonderful mellow buzz with some Sly Fox porters and such, but as a short guy, I had to wander around the balcony waiting for a space to open up. The sound was fantastic and not being able to see the band really had my head spinning. This tour Tsuyama has been looping his vocals over and over for maximum psychedelic overdrive, and the sound man was spinning that shit all over the room, it felt like the throat singing was right behind my left ear. I dopeily turned around a few times, like "What?" At one point I thought I heard a tenor sax, but it was just Kawabata abusing his effects pedals. Whew!

The jams were great, very beefy, very intricate and totally over the top. A gorgeous version of long time fave "La Novia" was a highlight, with looped vocals, shimmering bass and then that monster guitar riff burn. Ah! Prophase Music is reissuing La Novia on vinyl soon, too. A classic!

A very long "Pink Lady Lemonade" with lots of peaks, Tsuyama going insane on the bass, super fast, super fuzzed. After that, the three note trance out of "Cometary Orbital Drive" and a riotous encore of "Dark Stars in the Dazzling Sky." The Philly crowd was all in, loving it. Lots of hippie dancing and old heads, plus the kids... and a dude I swear to god was a narc from a Dead show parking lot circa 1990. Yeah! One of the better AMT shows I have seen, everything seemed to come together and blast out like a big bang, insane! Unfortunately the live shots I took didn't come out. Alas. Some photos with Kawabata and a trip to the Shopzone and we were off for an easy ride home, the last sight of Johnny Brendas saw two folks laying down on the steps, wiped out!

Friday night, it was Trust's turn to drive to Baltimore. This time with me and Dana in tow. Friday night traffic to Baltimore? No problem. Wait... lots of problems. Alas, we got there too late to see Mopar Mountain Daredevils featuring Cotton Casino! Damn! Dana and I had some chocolate and rolled up to see a sweaty Bill from Mopar outside having a smoke. Argh! Great to see Bill and Cotton, but really bummed I missed the band. One of these days.

We grabbed some National Bohemians and cruised around the Ottobar and smoked and all that jazz, blabbed with some folks and got ready for AMT. Another great set, similar to Philly but a tad less energy. During "Pink Lady Lemonade" I ran into Philly ex-pat, John Boothman from Vibrolux, Gelcaps, etc. His new band, Tsarship Unicorn opened up the show, but we totally missed them. Damn! Great to see John, totally crazy surprise!

But the highlight for Baltimore was Cotton Casino playing with AMT for the first time since 2003 as far as I can tell. She joined them for a killer, long encore of "Dark Stars in the Dazzling Sky." I was geeking out like crazy, never thought I would see this and was happy to rush up front all zonked out and rock out! Cotton rules!! So much fun to see everyone so stoked, so happy.

More babble with the various AMT folks, and goodbyes and yet more merch and we were off for a Trust driven long ass drive back to PA. Thanks a million to Justin for hooking us up and such! AMT keep it going and keep it amazing, year in, year out. Go see them!

UPDATE: Thanks to king taper, Zapenguin, you can download these shows here (and be sure to read his hilarious and spot on reviews, too!):

April 13 2011 Philadelphia Johnny Brenda's

April 15 2011 Baltimore Ottobar

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