The Russian rockabilly surf rock band, The Red Elvises, have been coming to Albuquerque for years and at one point had a pretty massive local following when they would roll into town at the very least once a year. Those that have gone to their shows become nostalgic for their showmanship and inventive sounds. One cannot help but want to dance to and join in on their audience immersive gigs.
These days though, there is only one original member left in the band that was founded in 1995. They’ve changed their name to Igor and The Red Elvises, maybe because it just isn’t quite the same show or band with different members.
It was unfortunate to see that only a small number of people came to the show on Tuesday. This may be part of a larger issue; many millennials out and about downtown are no longer going to see bands play anymore, but seem more interested in hip hop and EDM.
The newer members of The Red Elvises play the same songs as the other incarnations of the bad did, and have even added a few new ones to their repertoire, but the show itself is different. The new singer does not have a Russian accent, that is an aspect that made the band what it used to be. The fervor was gone and replaced with a younger and not as lively group.
I must admit I hadn’t seen them play in years, and don’t get me wrong, every single one of the new band members are talented in their own right, especially their new horn player—she is a badass—but also their formerly infamous red balalaika bass was not being twirled about and used as a show prop as it once was. Essentially the show didn’t have the flair it once had. This could be due to Bernov, the previous bassist, quitting the band in 2009 to join the circus as a clown with a group called Slava's Snowshow.
But things do happen. Something that was made notable by Russian accents, grandiloquence and sheer soul to play had been changed and ended up sort of lost on a younger audience. Unfortunately this gig missed the mark of their usually grandiose shows.
According to their bio, showman extraordinaire Igor Yuzov is “perpetually globetrotting, and in the process he has found scores of wildly talented, entertaining musicians to bring into the fold of this increasingly international party band,” and it’s understandable that sometimes bands need to change to keep thriving.
Maybe it’s that I was hoping to see the show I had memories of from in my youth, but sometimes bands develop into something else entirely, even though they're playing the same music. And sometimes older fans are either going to embrace it or they’re not.
The new musicians added to the group and they did put on a great show. Anyone looking to go have a great time dancing to fun and upbeat vibes will thoroughly enjoy the newly evolved Red Elvises, especially if they play Launchpad again.
Head on downtown to take advantage of the amazingly audacious variety of live music happening in clubs on Central between First Street and Sixth Street tonight!
There's plenty of action from rap to rock and beyond, but these are the two events that caught my attention.
The Co-Op (415 Central NW) presents a concert by students from the School of Rock. Albuquerque SOR operator Robert Montoya told Weekly Alibi this show features School of Rock students from all over the planet, saying, "There are seven different touring groups that are starting in different cities around the country. Team Five Touring Group had their dress rehearsal at the Co-Op on Friday and will play a full show along with our ABQ School of Rock House Band to kick off their tour! They play Denver and Red Rocks next, then Omaha, Neb. and DeKalb, Kansas before ending up at Lollapalooza in Chicago on July 28."
The SOR Tour kicks off at 6pm at the Co-Op, Tickets cost $10 online or at the door. All ages are welcome.
After you've caught a glimpse of the next generation, troop your rocked out form over to Launchpad (618 Central SW) to check out one of the premier, genre-defining bands of this age. In case you wanna know, they are called Wavves and they are from Califas. Totally worth it, totally talented and totally kings of the beach.
It will cost $17 to interact with this beachy slice of the California Republic and members of the public over the age of 13 are invited to do so. Doors are at 8pm; the gig's at 9pm.
After being catcalled by some idiot (who then stalled out on Central, take that ya dumb idiot) I arrived at the Launchpad. It was the least crowded I’ve seen it in a while which I found surprising because in the alternative scene in Albuquerque, I gathered that Palisades and Secrets are popular. I’ve seen Palisades once and that was last year at Warped Tour and I really enjoyed the show then, so I was excited to see what they would be like to see them in a small venue.
Certainly more people were there than at Warped, possibly because they’ve become more popular since last summer but it’s more likely that it’s because it was a Wednesday evening. Who has stuff to do then? I digress.
I got to my seat on the balcony just in time. Picturesque started playing as soon as I sat down. There were far more people on the floor than the balcony, which isn’t usually the case. Actually, that’s probably not true. It just feels that way to me because normally when I arrive late to a show and I get beer, I have to stand on my tippy toes behind a crowd of people sitting and standing. Glob bless, I still got center.
Picturesque has such a pronounced, exciting and consistent energy. Within the first song, just seeing them perform for a few minutes, I decided that they’re going to get huge in the alternative scene very soon. They connected with the audience not only with their music and energy, but they shared that it wasn’t their first time in town; The last time they were here they played a house show and one of their local friends was in the audience.
Lead singer Kyle Hollis' voice was noticeably high pitched. With his clean/unclean vocals he’s able to communicate very beautiful, sincere, deep emotions. Add that to the pop-punk, post-hardcore guitar riffs and brilliantly executed drums and it was very powerful and meaningful. I particularly liked the drummer. He was robust and explosive while also maintaining an intelligent and transposable consistency.
I don’t think I’ve never seen an opening band get an audience so amped up so quickly. Although, the crowd could have been ready to go before the show started. The audience was really receptive to the band's requests. They responded immediately and positively, which is kind of uncommon. Whenever I hear people say they love Albuquerque and the crowd is great, I hardly believe them. I think, “Don’t pretend like you think we’re special! I know you say that to Tulsa, too. Nothing is special about Tulsa to you and neither is Albuquerque. I see through your lies, you heathen!”
I know people here that go to shows are usually really into it, but seeing that audience it was incredible. I don’t think I can properly communicate it. The crowd moved as a whole and independently. Everyone was nice to each other. Everyone was in good spirits. There weren’t any people who were too drunk or too high. When I heard the bands thank the audience for being such a great crowd that night, I really believed they meant it.
Picturesque ended up playing about 5 songs. Before the last song played, the audience was getting antsy. The first mosh pit of the night happened shortly after the last song began.
At some point during the set change, when I was looking at my Faceplace, I saw that Secrets had to cancel because they were sick. It’s unfortunate but I understand. It seems to me a lot of bands that tour through Albuquerque (and probably elsewhere, I guess) are battling some kind of cold or similar sickness.
Too Close To Touch were exceptional performers. The well-known (and well-toured) alternative bands that I’ve seen have a very particular showmanship “move”: They put on a performance that interconnects with the other band members while doing their own thing. What I really mean is, they each do their own best version of sexy but it all flows together. It’s something I’ve noticed with Crown the Empire, We Came As Romans, Hollywood Undead, Silverstein, The Neighborhood and more that I can’t remember right now because I’m a little sleep deprived (sorry). While I didn’t completely enjoy their music, I really appreciated their performance and dedication to the audience. At one point, lead singer Keaton Pierce got a nosebleed (I gathered that it wasn’t uncommon for him, what a neeeeerd) and he kept going. What a trooper! For their entire set they were all very high energy and also super professional.
Finally Palisades took the stage. I noticed right away that Louis Miceli Jr.’s (lead vocals) voice wasn’t what it normally was like or how I remembered it, and I was disappointed. I blamed my summer-heat-induced craziness for misremembering the remarkable show they put on last time I saw them. Later, Miceli informed us that he was getting over whatever Secrets was coming down with, so I’m going to stand by my original not-
Regardless of the sickly vocalist, the crowd was wild. After the band absorbed some of the crowd’s energy, they were equally energized. The crowd was moshing and doing death walls, they were just as entertaining to watch as the band.
I really like Palisades because they conspicuously mix genres, which is the future of music (in my humble opinion). Palisades mainly mixes hardcore and dubstep (yaaas, I’m so into it) but I also noticed they did a hardcore and memestep mix.
For those of you who don’t know what memestep is, it’s relatively new, but it’s just using vocals from vines and mixing it with dubstep/hardcore electrona/general EDM. Like, for example, they used the “Damn, Daniel!” vocal from that well-known meme (which was awesome and caused me to leave my seat on the balcony and go downstairs). It was fantastic being at a show that was basically a post metal-hardcore rave, I loved it.
Even though Secrets wasn’t able to perform, I think the audience left satisfied. I know I did.