Here’s the mark of a good show for me: If I don’t notice time passing during a show, I know it’s of a high caliber. And I didn’t look at my watch once during the Warlocks show on November 9.
Opener Darker My Love, a Los Angeles-based four-piece, was a delight. The band members moved around the stage and put their instruments to the test, proving themselves to be great showmen. Likewise, the performance by the members of the Warlocks (who’s Heavy Deavy Skull Lover was released in October on Tee Pee) left no doubt that they know how to use their instruments. In terms of music, their performance was nearly flawless. These musicians know how to interact with each other dynamically, especially drummers Bob Mustachio and Jason Anchondo, who chatted back and forth when they weren’t building on each other’s performance.
But the Warlocks didn’t just play music; they created an atmosphere — and they did so using traditionally kitschy techniques. Other bands that use fog machines and strobe lights have brought me to the brink of vomiting, but the Warlocks used both (and more), and it was transporting. And despite the darkness and shadows, the mood was far from heavy.
Above all, the Warlocks were natural: None of their movements were forced, and each song flowed from the other. True, they seemed to favor their newer material over their older favorites, but the audience didn’t seem to mind during the show. At least not those of us who were in front.