Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Quilt & Dungen at The Earl, Atlanta, March 8, 2016

Never mind that Dungen were the headliners and the clear favorite of most of the audience, I was there to see Quilt and I enjoyed their set more than that of the Swedes at The Earl.

More about the Swedes later.  Even casual readers of this blog should realize by now that I have a real affinity for the band Quilt and consider their new LP Plaza a strong contender for Album of the Year.  I've been looking forward to this performance for a while now, and Quilt did not disappoint.  

The sound mix was perfect, allowing their harmonies to rise above the instruments, and the band played flawlessly.  I don't know what else to say other than if you like the sound of this band, you'd have loved their performance last night.  

Dungen (Swedish for "the grove") is a Stockholm-based psychedelic prog-rock band, equally influenced by folk music, classic rock, garage rock and alternative rock.  The band is fronted by singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Gustav Ejstes, who writes all the music and played piano, electronic keyboard, electric and acoustic guitars, and flute during the course of the show.

The set was full of psych rock, with touches of jazz, especially in the drumming, and instrumental ambience.  I was reminded at times of any number of '60s and '70s prog-rock bands, from Euro bands like Focus and Gong to all of those Haight-Ashbury summer-of-love bands whose names I can't even remember.

They're very inventive and no two songs sounded alike, but my only complaint, and I know how this sounds, is that their set was so long.  They took the stage around 10:30, and well after midnight they were encouraging the audience to keep hanging in there, they weren't through yet.  Most of the audience were clearly fans and couldn't get enough, but I, unfamiliar with most of their work as I am, started to find it all exhausting and left before the encore break.  

Anyway, I guess my points are 1) Quilt are the real thing and as good as I had hoped, 2) it turns out that you can get too much of a good thing, and 3) neither band would have sounded out of place of the stage of the Fillmore East in 1971.  

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