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Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats at Cresent Ballroom

“Turn on, tune in, drop out” was a popular phrase in the sixties spurred by the psychedelic research of Timothy Leary. The phrase was often used in reference to the psychedelic sounds of bands such as Jefferson Airplane and their contemporaries in the late 60s. A phrase has never fit a modern show so well as it does what happened Tuesday night at the Crescent Ballroom when Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and guests King Buffalo took the stage. 

Openers King Buffalo performed a transcendent set of heavy psychedelic rock tinged with the exploratory sounds of progressive rock. Songs carefully selected from their entire discography peppered the setlist, entrancing a packed crowd that dutifully headbanged as King Buffalo moved from spacey psychedelia to hard-edged rock and roll. Guitarist and lead singer Sean McVay, shrouded in shadow at the front of the stage, held sway over the audience like a judge in court, manipulating the sonic frequencies of his keyboard and guitar. All around, King Buffalo showed that they are not an act to be trifled with and deserve their own headlining tour soon. 

Uncle Acid, upon taking the stage, was met with riotous roars of approval from the very start. Performing in darkness in front of a projector-lit backdrop, the band channeled the visual stimulation of 60s San Francisco with the darkness of the Velvet Underground and their light shows. Sometimes disturbing images displayed on the screen, melting away to new images as the band progressed through a set of hits that included “I’ll Cut You Down” and “Death’s Door.” Glass-edged harmonies cut over the hard fuzz of their guitars and bass, forming a sonic wall that immersed the audience in murder-laden songs of violence and debauchery. As the crowd pulsated with energy and pushed forward closer to the stage, Uncle Acid delivered a set to be remembered, one that perfectly matched the visual and sonic stimulation. 

Overall, Uncle Acid and King Buffalo delivered one of the most visually stimulating shows I’ve seen in a while. The visual aspect wasn’t the only peak however. From the setlist choices to the energy of the performances, this was a night that will live in the memories of all who had the pleasure to be present. - review~ Blake Carrera photos~Bearded Gonzo Photography

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