Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats just finished part 1 of their U.S. tour supporting their new album The Night Creeper. Support for this tour was Philadelphia’s Ruby the Hatchet and Ecstatic Vision. On September 27th they came through Portland, OR and we were there to document the experience.
Ecstatic Vision could do very well playing their set live in a room with no lights or visuals whatsoever. Their creation of rhythmically charged psychedelic music hits a primal, almost instinctual nerve very quickly and holds your attention. Then you add musically triggered instrument and stage lighting, an intense and interactive stage presence without the slightest whiff of pretentiousness or gimmick and the result is one hell of a good show. The venue had filled out quite nicely within the first song of their set and everyone very quickly adopted the infectious vibe pouring off of the stage. It was a perfect way to start the evening. You must see them live.
Next was Ruby The Hatchet, a Psychedelic/Doom act from PA. Ruby The Hatchet are a “Female fronted” doom band, a recipe that everyone is now quite familiar with. While everyone gets carried away with the comparison game of similar bands, and the affect of having a female singer, most forget to take notice of the fundamental aspects of what makes a good band in the first place. Ruby The Hatchet are one of the good ones that help create the contrast between bands that are just trying to copy a successful formula, and the bands who organically form and put in the work to become something to take notice of. Every member does their job very well and they are on of the tightest bands I have seen in this genre. Give them a listen , but more importantly see them live. The vocal harmonies between the drummer and lead singer are worth buying a ticket alone, not to mention the haunting atmosphere sewn through by the Organ, which is held up by the smooth syncopation of the guitar and rhythm section. They are a perfect fit to open for the Headliner.
Two dimly lit street lanterns and a thin veil of fog gave a cool and creepy vibe to the stage. A nice and basic effect reminiscent of an old horror movie set. Simple, yet effective. This same ideology can be found with Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats. Not to say their music is simple in the sense of boring or plain, but pure and to the point. It is becoming increasingly rare for bands to develop original sounds and identities without over complications, or going to some sort of extreme. And those who force themselves to stay stripped down and simple usually end up regurgitating a predecessors style. Uncle Acid have found a way to understand and respect an old formula but still maintain their own identity and sound. That sound was driving the audience to the point of cavitation from the very start.
The stage lighting was mostly back-lighting for the band, continuing the creepy and unsettling imagery as if they were dark figures encountered at night on an unfamiliar street. Uncle Acid are definitely one of those bands where their recordings stand well enough on their own, but seeing them live bring an entirely new element to the music. The crowd was a lot of fun to be a part of since Uncle Acid have such a varied cross-section of fans that come to the shows. There was definitely a unique feel to this show, a feeling I will be looking forward to the next time they are in town. This tour as a whole fits so well together and each band compliment each other in an incredible way. If you are fortunate enough to catch this lineup in your town or a city near by, it will be worth every penny.
To see all the photos from this show, check out the gallery here – http://fotophortress.com/?p=7930
Check out more Uncle Acid tour dates here
Ecstatic Vision are still touring, check out their upcoming dates here
Also more dates for Ruby the Hatchet here
Written by Guy Nelson, Photos by Alyssa Herrman