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Review Wed Dec 03 2014

Lincoln Hall Drifted Off With Allah-Las and Tashaki Miyaki

allahlas2.jpgThe past couple years have been good to Allah-Las. They have gotten better and better with every passing performance, honing their skills and building up a reputation of great shows. Their latest album, Worship the Sun has the band completely submersed in their music, becoming more than just another simple 60s psychedelic revival. Allah-Las embody the sound so well they seem displaced in time and we in the present are all the better for it. This past weekend Allah-Las returned to Chicago and took Lincoln Hall on a very satisfying musical journey.

Takashimiyaki1.jpgYou know you're in for a crazy night when a band uses Rick Ross' "Hustling" as entrance music to start their set. Such was the case with the trio of Tashaki Miyaki who came to the string lit set ready to dole out their fuzzy and oh so dreamy pop. They have an air of mystery around them, never really introducing themselves, rather leaving the music to speak for them. "Keep Me in Mind" turns on the subject of possibly unrequited love and summertime memories while, "Cool Running" floats along happier future outlook on relationships.

Takashimiyaki2.jpgTheir songs It's really easy to fall for this band as they jam out their songs which have a shoegaze quality to them that oozes out splendidly. "Get It Right" moves along with a slow but determined pace while "Somethin is Better Than Nothin" finds itsself in a quicker but fuzzy realm. Tashaki Miyaki's songs made for warm weather, but not even the cool Chicago evening could resist but move along to their songs.

takashi miyaki3.jpgTashaki Miyaki ramped it up on the latter half of the set when they brought out a few members of Allah-Las to play. What followed was a wonder mesh of sound that at times sounded like medley of Troggs covers, specifically "Wild Thing" and "I Want You". There was so much fun energy coming from the team up that the stage simply couldn't contain it. Tashaki Miyaki certainly impresses, ending their set with "City", putting the band at their coolest and most distant sounding. "Look at the world, I am small" sings out their drummer/vocalist with a soft calm before ending their set with a quick smattering of drums.

allahlas3.jpgThrough the speakers the sounds of California by way of Bollywood flooded out into Lincoln Hall. Allah-Las had chosen mix of "What Up Duyet?" by Onra and "Jan Pehechan-Ho" by Mohammed Rafi as their intro songs, both meant to prepare for the psychedelic melodies sure to follow. Typically the band is comprised of Miles Michaud on vocals/guitar, Matthew Correia on drums, Spencer Dunham on bass and Pedrum Siadatian on guitar. This time they had Jeff Luger to help out with some congas. They all came out with more poise and command than the previous times I've seen them perform. As the final moments of their intro dissipated, Allah-Las drifted into the instrumental "No Werewolf" before tearing into "Busman's Holiday".

allahlas1.jpgAllah-Las melodies feel like old favorites the first time you hear them and live they get taken to even greater heights. "I Had It All" is so deeply rooted in the 60s sound that it could be confused for a classic of the era. It's no surprise that they would cover a song like "Calm Me Down" by the Human Expression It fit the band quite well, following the soaring "Tell Me (What's On Your Mind)" like an extension of its sound. Allah-Las aren't necessarily about big and tumultuous playing. The clearly want the experience to be more ethereal, a sort of zoning put and enjoying the sun kissed tunes. "Sandy" has a really lovely sprawling rise at the heart of its chorus that effectively sends the audience into a daze. Even with the intention of setting the hazy mood, songs like "Catamaran" take the crowd to wild spots.

allah las drummer.jpgThroughout the show was a projection of a never-ending highway speeding along a lonesome desert. It's a fitting image for Allah-Las sound. Their songs often embody the sentiment expressed by the traveling road above their heads. "Long Journey" in particular puts the focus on a desert scene and the far reaches one will go for love. During this song Correia takes the vocal reigns, passing out a couple maracas to some enthusiastic audience members eager to help out with the song.

allahlas4.jpgThe last time I saw the Allah-Las at the Empty Bottle they did not perform an encore. At the time they only had the one album and had played right through its entirety. This time around with Worship the Sun under the sleeves, they were able to come back out and give the adoring crowd a little more. They started off with "Vis-à-vis", a song lead by Dunham's vocals that clearly missing from their initial set. During the performance Mechaud caught a whiff of something in the air. His eyes turned shifty as he gazed out into the darkened venue. "Who's got the reefer?" he asked in the middle of the song, laughing at the occurrence.

allahlas6.jpgMere seconds after the song ended the tightly rolled joint found its way up on stage. Allah-Las couldn't contain their gratitude, pointing out the hospitable nature of Chicago. The already fun and genial band only got more so. They were joined by Takashi Miyaki's guitarist and closed out the set with woman crazy "Every Girl". Their smiles reached out to the audience, belting out the wandering song. Allah-Las finished the set a little looser and a little more relaxed, elevating the show deeper into that hazy tone they wanted.

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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 »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
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Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
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Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
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Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
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