Live Review: Iceage, Corporate Merger, Glow In the Dark, Las Cruxes, Porchfest…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:54 pm October 3, 2022
Iceage at The Slowdown Sept. 30, 2022.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It dawned on me as I was sitting on the couch watching the Yankees, waiting to see if Judge gets No. 62, that maybe I got it wrong and Earth was headlining Friday night at The Slowdown instead of Iceage. I high-tailed it down to the club where Iceage had already begun their set to a crowd of around 60 in the front room.

The band, who I thought was the next Interpol after they got signed to Matador eight or so years earlier, was killing on stage. Elias Bender Rønnenfelt is one of those frontmen who really puts everything out there even if he’s playing to a half-empty club. This band has only grown over the years — a better band, better performers — but now they’re touring opening for a legacy sludge-metal band?

Rønnenfelt standing on the edge of the stage, reaching out and making eye contact through hair hanging in his face like a young Johnny Depp, singing right to the front of the crowd during set highlight “The Lord’s Favorite” off 2014’s Plowing into the Field of Love, I’m thinking he could be the next Bono if the band could just find a hit. At other times the Danish act reminds me of an ‘80s Manchester band with Rønnenfelt as a modern-day Shaun Ryder.

They leave the stage to the strains of “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music, and I wonder about their career trajectory as I wait a half hour or more for experimental drone trio Earth to get their gear set up. It’s a strange combination for a touring bill, a ‘00s-era post-punk band like Iceage with this feedback-drenched instrumental act who helped define drone rock 30 years ago. I made it through two Earth songs before heading out to Benson.

The Corporate Merger/Bloodcow reunion at The Sydney Sept. 30, 2022.

When I got to The Sydney The Corporate Merger was already on stage. I don’t know the history or reasons behind Bloodcow’s breakup other than frontman Matt Owen moved to Sioux City and there was scuttle-butt about use of the band’s name, etc. Well, Corporate Merger is no Bloodcow. The style is different, much more post-punk than Bloodcow’s power metal and I like it better. Owen mentioned some future recordings, which sounds enticing. For their final song they called up former band member Navin to play an old Bloodcow number and the crowd went nuts.

I spent a some research time Saturday trying to figure out the name of the style of aggressive, industrial, high-BPM dance music Plack Blague pummeled me with while I watched Glow in the Dark set up. The closest I could come was “EMB Powernoise.” Brutal beats with infectious digital hooks that felt like runway music for a Black Mirror robot fashion show or a leather-boy dance-club scene from an old Scorsese film set in New York in the ’80s (After Hours) but with synths instead of guitars.

Glow In the Dark at The Sydney Sept. 30, 2022.

When Glow in the Dark finally made it on stage, I was still feeling the after-effects of the Plack Blague DJ set, that made GitD’s beats feel flaccid in comparison. Well, the effect quickly wore off as the set rolled on. The duo has a distinctly ’80s club vibe to their very cool dance music that combines beats and live vocals with an AV projection that takes you back to a VHS era. I can’t for the life of me find an online outlet for their music, and maybe that’s (wisely) by design.

Las Cruxes at Porchefest, Oct. 2, 2022.

Sunday I rode my motorcycle down to the Gifford Park area for some Porchfest action and caught a little bit of Matt Cox and the first half of Las Cruxes set just a block away at the park’s mobile stage. From block to block throughout the neighborhood there were people on porches playing a variety of folk music – hence the name Porchfest — while small gatherings stood along the sidewalks or sat on the ground or in lawn chairs enjoying the music and the fine fall weather. 

Las Cruxes multi-electric-guitar punk is about as far away as you can get to folk, but still somehow fit into the overall vibe. Good times.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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