Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Residents @ La Gaité Lyrique, Paris - February 2nd, 2019

The Residents might be the most famous band of anonymous musicians in the world: most people with a passing interest in pop music know their ubiquitous eyeball mascot in a top hat, yet their identities have remained one of the best kept secret in rock for nearly fifty years.
Their new show In Between Dreams is a nebulous concept that is part David Lynch, part counter-culture freakout. Is there a point? Probably not, but the journey is what matters, not the destination.

The music is abrasive at times, sometimes heavy, sometimes funky. Sometimes it is so ethereal it's almost easy listening. The keyboardist is at the foundation of the sound: his soundscapes, melodies and samples are the natural binders in the stew. A percussionist also triggers samples and electronics on his V-drums, and the guitarist (with a surprisingly metal approach) punctuates it all with angular stabs of discordant melodies.

The star is of course the singer, who spent the entire show dressed as a cow (because why not?), interpreting the demented lyrics with absolute commitment. His bovine performance is absolutely riveting.

The light show is spectacular, and the animations used as transition between each dream sequence are hilarious.

Until last night I had only heard of the Residents' legendary performances. Of course I enjoyed some of their records (Meet the Residents, Duck Stab, Third Reich n' Roll, Eskimo...) but had never seen them live. I'm happy to report that they more than live up to their reputation of freaks, satirists and avant-garde agitators with a penchant for subversion and the just plain weird.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment on this post: