The best way to describe Saturday night’s Ariel Pink show at Tipitina’s would be to say that it was analagous to a musical gumbo. You take all the odds and ends left over from the week and throw them in a pot, and surprisingly enough, when the water starts to simmer you have something amazing. There were three rather unique bands in the pot that night.
First up was the Hong Kong-based Purple Pilgrims, a sister duo act that consisted of Clementine and Valentine Nixon. The two sat on the stage and sang haunting folksy melodies that were layered with even more haunting guitar ambience. At one point during their set I thought I was in a David Lynch film – it was surreal, to say the least. Perfect bedtime music, but the next act would wake you up immediately.
One man band Kirin J. Callinan, hailing from Australia, was all over the place, literally. Centered around almost a dozen guitar petals, Kirin managed to give the appearance of a full band. He’s very odd and takes a bit to get into, but after listening to his first few tracks you could see his vision appearing right before your eyes. Heavily influenced by German Industrial music and a sprinkle of Manson, Kirin won over the audience and left them wanting more.
It’s always funny when a lead singer hits the stage and you can tell right off-the-bat what type of music you’ll be hearing. While L.A. based Ariel Pink’s catalogue is vast and each album different than the last, there has always been a ’70s glam sensibility to his songs. One thing you don’t get on the albums that you clearly do on stage is a complex and utter sense of passion. Each song comes across as if it were part of his soul that he is sharing. The set was a well-rounded one composed of material from practically his entire catalog.
Last year’s Mature Themes had a few more tracks played, but not enough to make the set feel weighted in any way. A nice bonus to the evening was live video mixing by Tim Hix, while the band played, meaning each night you get a completely different visual set.
Highlights included “Bright Lit Blue Skies,” “Mature Themes,” ”Only in My Dreams” (after which he introduced the band), and “Round and Round.” The new track “Hang on to Your Life” fit well with the rest of the set and flowed nicely into “L’estat.” Crowd favorite “Baby” harkened back to that raw emotion.
It was also nice to see Ariel’s mom at the show, who just so happens to live here in New Orleans. She was a riot and professed her love for Kirin. So after all those ingredientes settled, we had an amazing gumbo Saturday night.
This article is reposted from Live Music Blog, a content partner of NolaVie.