Gig review: The Blue Angel Lounge – Pianos, NYC, April 22, 2011

One of my favorite sites that I regularly visit is Last.FM, which is a music tracker and recommendation website. It’s pretty much ubiquitous for popularizing the scrobble, which is just a made-up word to define a recorded play of a song. The site’s recommendation feature is quite strong, and the trip to Pianos on the Lower East Side tonight was a direct result of this particular websites influence on my listening.

Last year, I went through a short phase of listening to a lot of (mostly) modern psychedelic music and while some of it didn’t quite stick, one of the bands that caught my ear was Germany’s “The Blue Angel Lounge” who I was excited to catch at one of their first US gigs tonight.

The Blue Angel Lounge are a modern band in the vein of classic 60’s acts like The Velvet Underground. They play a very melodic psychedelic rock with very strong lead vocals courtesy of frontman, Nils Ottensmeyer, backed by an array of talented musicians manning the typical war machines of a solid rock band.

The Blue Angel Lounge

Tonight’s show at Pianos was a welcome feast for these ears. The band were full-on from the moment they took the stage and breezed through a brisk 45 minute set that encompassed both of their full length records, which I highly recommend without hesitation. The highlight of the gig was set closer off of 2010’s Narcotica, entitled “Corona” which sees a sea of reverbed guitar carried by Ottensmeyers rich baritone vocal. A nice touch to the gig was a backdrop to project your run-of-the-mill psychedelic imagery, but unfortunately it did not reach the floor, so it was a bit cut off. Nonetheless, this minor snafu didn’t  intrude on the listening experience whatsoever.

The one thing that I am a bit disappointed by was how short the set was! This of course is a good thing, but you can bet that the next time this uber-talented young band make their way to New York, I will be there with bells.

If you’re a fan of psychedelic rock music, The Blue Angel Lounge are a terrific band with a modern twist on a classic sound. Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre calls himself a fan, and is also responsible for production on their 2nd full length, the aforementioned, Narcotica. I recommend this act without trepidation or hesitation whatsoever. The live interpretation of their recorded output was strong and well worth the $10 cover. Check em out if they’re coming near you.

Here’s a video of their performance of “Corona” that I captured. There’s another video and pics if interested via the buttons on the left pane.


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