El Ten Eleven, the funky experimental post-rock duo, take Bardot together with Slow Magic and Nude Pop.
"We are 3100 miles away from home right now" I turn around and see the opening band, Nude Pop, getting ready to start their set. This dreamy psychedelic rock band from Spokane, Washington are currently touring with El Ten Eleven, following the release of their new EP, "Splintered Selves". The singer's voice (I swear) is identical to Anthony Green's and hearing them play, I couldn't help but think of this band as a mellowed-out version of Circa Survive. Nude Pop still seems small, but they were just too good to stay small for long.
After Nude Pop, a masked creature appeared on the carpet stage fumbling around with the equipment and setting up some interesting-looking drums. Slow Magic's sound has a sort of synth-pop, smooth chillwave quality to it. I knew a couple songs before learning that he was opening for El Ten Eleven, but I left Bardot a fan. As he started playing, this solo artist was just messing around with his mixers, and tapping on what looked like a modified sort of electric drum pad. Then, totally unexpectedly, he grabbed a pair of drum sticks and started going bananas on a set of two standalone drums, adding incredible percussion to his pre-recorded chilled out dream pop songs. While I recognized the songs he was playing over, the addition of the percussion gave his set an entire new, and incredibly captivating dimension. Not to mention, this guy was wild. He looked like a sort of tribal monster jumping around hammering on drums. At one point, in between the drumming frenzies, he even picked up his mixer and carried it around the carpet with him dancing while he turned the knobs ferociously. Like SBTRKT, Slow Magic has his own signature tribal-like mask that he wears to all his shows. Who did the mask thing first? Doesn't matter to me because both are awesome.
The crowd was a bit weak when Nude Pop started playing, but by the time El Ten Eleven started there were a good amount of people surrounding the main carpet. This tour has been difficult for the duo, since three days before they were set to start their tour, their equipment was stolen. Off to a rocky start, Kristian and Tim had to start their opening song, "My Only Swerving" over due to a wonky looper that Kristian ended up throwing against Bardot's back wall. After that, things appeared to flow really smoothly. El Ten Eleven is one hundred percent live performance, which when hearing their songs is surprising for just a two-man band. While Tim killed it on the drums, Kristian used his feet to control an intense array of looper pedals while he jammed on a guitar/bass doubleneck to achieve the band's characteristic layered sound. Luckily for the band, they have loyal fans who were kind enough to donate money and equipment so the duo could continue their tour. So to those fans, thanks a bunch! I probably wouldn't have seen El Ten Eleven without them.