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Transmission
« Review: The Get Up Kids @ the Bottom Lounge Review: Obits @ Empty Bottle, 3/12 »

Concert Sun Mar 13 2011

Photos/Review: Elephant Stone @ Bottom Lounge 3/12/11

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Montréal, Canada's Elephant Stone opened with a sitar solo that felt like the ceremonial rite of passage into a postmodern psychedelic pop wonderland. As pop music goes, the band has the hooks but the sitar is what sets it aside from both typical pop and psychedelic bands today. Lead singer Rishi Dhir seems to have it all in terms of his vast talents: a fantastic voice and stellar guitar and bass playing in addition to the sitar playing that makes Elephant Stone both distinctive and wondrous.


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Elephant Stone played as part of both a CHIRP (Chicago Independent Radio Project) showcase and a SXSW sendoff (If you're going, do make an effort to see them play at one of their several SXSW shows!) Their 45 minute long set included songs from both 2010's Glass Box EP and their 2009 album The Seven Seas, which are both really solid releases. The full length especially represents what can be witnessed in their live set in terms of the balance between the guitar and sitar progressions. Some songs feature the sitar in a fuller capacity and others, such as "Savage Soul" really take off with the instrument at the end, making the track feel more completely realized.

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It also helps that the five piece band as a whole was tight in their playing. The drumming kept a perfect pace to allow the keyboard and guitar melodies to flow forth in a way that felt rewarding to the avid listener. The overall effect was a feeling of solid structure that meant the multi-instrumentalism never felt lax or sloppy. In addition, the band seemed to be playing without a written down setlist as if they had pre-memorized the order of their songs, which eliminated any interruptions in the movement of their set.

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Perhaps because of time limitations, Dhir didn't speak much as far as banter goes but what he did say made him seem humble and thankful to the audience for showing up early. Some highlights of the set included "Alap" "Strangers" "Lies Lies Lies" "Yesterday's Gurl" "A Morning Song" and "Don't You Know." It was also rewarding to see the set come around full circle with Dhir finishing with an equally revelatory sitar solo as he had begun with. Dhir had once supplemented another phenomenal Montréal psychedelic band known as The High Dials several years ago but with Elephant Stone he creates something that seems more wholly his and just as memorable.

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Pinto and the Bean / March 15, 2011 4:07 PM

That sitar is awesome!

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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