The Velvet Teen @ the Echo
March 11, 2011 - Los Angeles, CA
by Wei Shi
The Velvet Teen @ the Echo - Los Angeles, CA - March 6, 2011 - Photos by Wei Shi
Unapologetic and electrifying, The Velvet Teen is the coffee that'll awaken your musical senses. Promoting their latest EP, No Star, the Northern California band rocked an energetic show at the Echo, Los Angeles last Sunday, March 6th, 2011.
Messes opened with melodic finger picking on acoustic guitar. The folk tunes occasionally offered bluesy undertones in addition to crisp vocals. Portland duo, Themes, switched it up next with moodier tracks.
The crowd gathered closer to the stage as The Velvet Teen set up. It felt like an intimate show between friends as guitarist, Matthew Izen, dropped some Wu-Tang Clan rhymes at the request of an audience member. Since the band's inception in 2000, they've seen some lineup changes before their current debut as a four piece. They've constantly re-invented their musical style with incredible results. Their first album, Out of the Fierce Parade (2002), was co-produced by Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) and consisted of emo-punk anthems. Elysium (2004), however, yielded haunting piano/string orchestrations with a slower pace while Cum Laude! (2006)'s noise rock moved with frenetic energy and vocal distortion.
No matter which genre you prefer, it's undeniable that The Velvet Teen put on a great show. For one, there's none of that standing around like stoic statues crap. These guys know how to really move and play their instruments with passion. They thrash about as if they're holding onto wild animals and it's near impossible to not feel alive at their visceral sounds. The catchy riffs during "Radiapathy" charged up the audience while Josh Staples' heavy bass parts in "We Were Bound (To Bend the Rules)" felt deeply satisfying. Casey Deitz jammed on drums and Judah Nagler provided both the signature falsetto vocals and additional guitar parts. They played "Tokyoto" and "Noi Boi" as well as their environmentally conscious single, "No Star," from their newest EP. To wrap up the show, The Velvet Teen performed the fan favorite and endearingly pop, "Counting Backwards."
This is truly a band that deserves more recognition than they're given. Their previous albums were released on independent labels but they still boast a loyal fanbase. Upon speaking to Judah, he revealed that a full-length album is in the works; it will feature more acoustic as well as electronica elements. Until then, you can catch a few of their shows posted on their Facebook and check out their No Star EP. ~ Wei
Click here for more pictures of The Velvet Teen, Themes and Messes in Los Angeles!
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