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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Saturday Night: Jonas Reinhardt, Bronze and More at Amnesia

Posted By on Sun, May 10, 2009 at 8:05 PM

click to enlarge Bronze photo by Alissa Anderson
  • Bronze photo by Alissa Anderson
Jonas Reinhardt, Bronze, Dzjenghis Khan, Magick Daggers
May 9, 2000 at Amnesia
Better than: Staying home just because there's a new SNL.

There is plenty of room for interesting retreads in pop music as modern bands provide listeners with something supplemental to the groundbreaking originals. At Amnesia last night, all of the acts that performed seemed heavily indebted to past bands, but they were still able to deliver the goods.

Perhaps the evening's most original band, Portland's Magick Daggers opened the show to a half empty room. Despite the lack of crowd when they started playing, the group's dark glamor struck a mood fast. The band members all wore black, including the singer, who took the stage in a sparkly sequined dress. Featuring the Get Hustle's Ron Avila (a.k.a. Max Million) on drums, as well as vocals by ex-Subtonix member Jessy Montaigne, the quartet's dramatic death rock seemed at home at Amnesia, with its bare lighting and red drapes. While first few songs seemed a bit too polished, the set became increasingly more interesting as the rhythm section and keyboards got into some heavy black magic, and Montaigne walked off stage to raise the dead crowd back to life with her wailing vocals and spirited motions.

Moving from black magic to hard rock séance, Dzjenghis Khan took the stage next, looking like a trio of resurrected '70s longhairs ready to rock. After a bit of struggle replacing a busted amp head, they laid it on thick with fuzzed out bass, raging guitar solos, and the drummer's caterwauling vocals sounding like a cross between Led Zeppelin and a very good high school Led Zeppelin cover band, with maybe a touch of current psych rockers like Black Mountain tossed in for good measure. Though derivative, they had good stage presence, solid chops, and catchy songs, some of which--like the one where they yell, "Shameless!"--are still buzzing in my head.

This show was also a record release party for locals Bronze, whose music takes influence from early electronic experimentalists Silver Apples with their drums/electronics set-up, although the sound was perhaps brought a little more up to date with Rob Spector's laid back Madchester vocals. Projected behind Bronze was a strange video that bore resemblance to mid-'90s VHS tapes of consciousness raising, computer generated imagery. The heavy loop repetition and deep bass vibrations made me close my eyes a couple times, but who knows whether it was from the music's trance, or fatigue from the band's lengthy set and midnight start time.

Jonas Reinhardt's Jesse Reiner closed the show late with piles of synthesizers. His pounding Kraftwerk-type beats caused several excited people to dance vigorously while the bar started shutting down, causing a staff member to declare, "Everyone has to leave right now" once closing time arrived. 

Critic's Notebook

Random Detail: At least three other bands on MySpace are called Bronze.

By the way: Max Million also did time in seminal '90s hardcore band Antioch Arrow.

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Nicholas Gitomer

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