Saturday, June 13, 2009
**Northside Fest** These are Powers at Death by Audio -6-12-09
These are Powers are evolving.
They also screened their video last night for 'Easy Answers' from All Aboard Future. It was full of forest, candlelight ritual and symbols of consumption. Anna is dressed in a jumpsuit and sunglasses holding a boombox crouched down singing into the camera....looking very hip hop. She's singing now, in the classical sense, snarling more...getting sexy.
There's a different feel for this band compared to a year ago, Anna's dressed in sequins, clearly comfortable with her lead position in the Powers, talking with the crowd and throwing balls of tin foil and coiled cables. It's a confident TAP, they mentioned their recent tour through China and I have to imagine this has something to do with their more dance centric performance. Everything performed was from All Aboard Future (which is missing Cockles, their greatest song) which is more electronic, less experimental. On a purely musical level it's a different direction...embracing the 4/4 rhythms, the handclap and leaving the sinister ghost-punk behind. There's a heavier focus on the live performance, the bass beats and Anna's vocals, which used to be another instrument, tribal and dangerous, not breathy dance phrasing... nearly hip hop.
Bill Salas is amazing at managing to achieve a balance between the electronic and analog. Bringing the thunderous bass shaking machine kicks with cymbals, or conga. They undeniably move the crowd and Powers are clearly loving the reaction... Anna is a force, a real presence....but it felt friendlier and more accessible. They are an impressive live band, and have come up with a compelling composite of experimental primitive dance, but they've changed up their own rules, nearly thrown out the old formula and are on to moving more and more crowds.