rarely do i encounter a band or artist that forces my eyes closed during a live show; however, Bradford Cox‘s performance as Atlas Sound last night caused this reaction in me. the sounds he creates, the looping and layering that comes so easily to him, baring blind instinct and emotional process for all to experience: i was overwhelmed and at times found myself head down, eyes shut, visualising the layers of beautiful notes and the letting his pure, easy, melancholic voice wash over it all.
Cox seems to have a love/hate relationship with his audience: he seems to have a genuine want/need to please, but with a tinge of resentment for the structure of a stage performance, and the level of tolerance the general audience has for experimentation with new works and old favourites. though it also it seems also that Cox tends to be over-critical of himself and his performance.
Cox told a story of the last show he played in Vancouver, which by his account was the most horrible show he’s ever played, letting the audience down terribly. but, before Bradford Cox took the stage last night, i heard about that show from someone who had been there. the guy had never heard of Atlas Sound or Bradford Cox before, but after hearing him that night, he left the show before Broadcast, the band he had come to see, took the stage. after seeing him perform, i can understand that Cox could have that effect… in fact, i’m surprised that he would have been opening: following Bradford Cox’s set would be pretty difficult.
Last night’s show was opened by Frank Broyles (from the Balkans and Cox’s other project, Deerhunter) and Carnivores. Frank Broyles was the perfect opener for this show, his set consisting of merely him, his vintage blonde Jazzmaster, and his pedals. the Carnivores would have fit in better opening for the Disappears and the Fresh and Onlys a couple of weeks back, but provided a good palate cleanser between Broyles’ and Cox’ sets.
the video above and the mp3 below are my two favourites from last night’s show. also, if you like what you hear, be sure to check out Deerhunter. enjoy!
Atlas Sound :: Mona Lisa
- Bradford Cox told us his favorite albums of 2011; Atlas Sound played Bowery (pics, video, setlist & a live recording) (brooklynvegan.com)
- Atlas Sound to bring sound to very specific areas of the atlas (chromewaves.net)
- Bradford Cox Covers Leonard Cohen (stereogum.com)