The Lords of Acid Sonicangel Tour hit Emo's in Austin, TX on Thursday, just a few short days after SXSW packed up. The usual superlatives could be used to describe this show--electric, exciting, crazy, on fire, outrageous--but, none fit as good as the word "fun." From the moment Praga Kahn stepped on stage and flashed his big smile you knew that The Lords of Acid show was going to be fun. And they did not disappoint. What we experienced for the next 90 minutes was more of a party than a concert.
From the opening song, "Drink My Honey" through the end of the encore, "LSD=Truth" the stage was a constant flurry of activity with dancers, silly string, dildos and audience members. There seriously was a lot going on. DJ Mea, was sexy in her black, studded outfit as she played ringleader, occasionally shot the audience with Silly String and grinded on girls from the audience. Murv3 bounced and ran across the stage with seemingly boundless energy. DJ Mea and Murv3 were chasing and licking each other. Kirk was constantly up from behind the drums to talk to Praga between songs or to give a bandmate a congratulatory hug. Audience members kept appearing on stage, some hand-picked by DJ Mea to interact with her one-on-one, and others in groups to participate in songs like "Pussy" and "Spank." Even the band's stage hands and road crew came on stage to participate in the madness. The merch guy was a featured player during the first encore, "Bunny Vibrator," as he bounced across the stage like a rabbit while DJ Mea chased him with a vibrator. The stage hands even had their own thing going on, teasing and toying with the band while they were playing their songs.
As fun as all that was, there really was music going on, and all of it well done. What we've come to expect from electronic groups is one or two guys with a couple laptops, a MIDI controller and a microphone; not a lot of actual music being created on stage so much as it is karaoke. The Lords of Acid is not that electronic group. The Lords of Acid is a band of some very talented musicians. Praga Khan, the band leader and keyboard player was doing something you don't see keyboard players do any more--he was playing keys! He wasn't just triggering samples here and there. He was actually playing chords, lines and melodies using his keyboards. Murv3 laid down some real heavy, in the pocket bass grooves all while bouncing around like a madman. Kirk Salvador on drums had some very cool, and fun drum parts to play. You could see he was really having a good time improvising against the occasional drum loop. And he has the longest reach for cymbals I've ever seen. Kirk's cymbals were all almost set perpendicular to the ground about 3 feet above his head. He had to kind of jump out of his seat to reach them. Virus seemed underutilized on guitar, they weren't playing guitar-driven songs. There were some stand-out moments occasionally when a song broke down for to play a clean, bell-like part. But, otherwise, when he wasn't playing he did a lot of walking ominously around the stage. There seemed to be some concern amongst fans about DJ Mea as the new lead singer, but I think all that got laid to rest when she sang her first notes on "Stripper." The Lords of Acid songs are all about sex and having fun, and DJ Mea's voice was sexy and fun, and fit the band nicely. DJ Mea was joined by Praga on background vocals for a lot of songs, and the two of them sounded really good together.
From the beginning of the night you could see how tired and exhausted some of the crowd were; most likely from being worn ragged by SXSW. But it was great to see that The Lords of Acid, and their exciting and fun music was able to energize this sleepy crown and ultimately get them on their feet dancing.