Roky Erickson and the Black Angels Delivered Heavy Psychedelic Rock at Beachland Concert


The Beachland Ballroom was packed wall-to-wall on last night for a sold out show that bridged together two generations of psychedelic music fans. The concert kicked off to an early start because Brooklyn's Golden Animals were unable to attend. The age demographic was all mixed up — ranging from grey scraggly beards to teenagers in braces and everything in between. Although a few decades divide the beginning of Erickson’s musical career from that of the Black Angels, both bands are Texans and share bluesy influence — the Black Angels have even played as Erickson’s backing band. However, the bands didn’t collaborate last night.

First to take the stage was Erickson, the psych-rock survivor and founder of ’60s underground band 13th Floor Elevators. Erickson and the Hounds of Baskerville played classics by 13th Floor Elevators including “Fire Engine,” “She Lives” and “Levitation” and they closed with “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” On the stage, Erickson appeared to be both passionate and troubled. The 2005 documentary titled You’re Gonna Miss Me outlines Erickson’s life and struggle with mental disorder that resulted in electroshock therapy and institutionalization. After years without performing, Erickson’s fans were in high spirits to see him enjoying himself on stage and playing the songs that made him a notable pioneer in the genre of psychedelic music.

Neo-psychedelic rockers the Black Angels finished the night off with a thorough set that included both new and old tracks. The colorful and ever changing projected patterns seemed to rise and fall with the dynamics of the music. During “Black Grease” the word “NOW” was projected on the screen. Highlights included the heavy sounds of “Young Men Dead,” the bluesy “Better Off Alone” and the low-down psychedelic jam, “Science Killer.” Also worth mentioning is that both rhythm and lead guitar played left-handed — which might make them the most left-handed band ever. They played for well over an hour with a three song encore and one woman was so pumped she pressed against the house speakers and started to gyrate. Members of Black Angels stuck around afterwards in the tavern for DJ Alr!ght of Secret Soul Club. It seems safe to say that everybody had a great time.

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