Amazing music – check, futuristic thought through costumes with white wigs – check, high level production with beautiful lights and just the right amount of smoke – check. In other words, Drab Majesty put up one hell of a show to celebrate the release of their new album “Modern Mirror”.
The event took place on July 26th at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, the band’s hometown. This is a pretty big venue with a spacious stage, so when I saw just two people standing there, I honestly got curious if they were going to be able to really claim all that space and make it work. Especially since both were on extra platforms, which make them look cool, particularly for the entrance, but also significantly limit any moving around the stage. They did though… The performance beautifully matched the music and the slightly distant, otherworldly, even downright alien vibe of the band. As expected there wasn’t much motion going on, but not like it’s needed since this is not the upbeat dance type of electronic music, but it was enough to keep the attention and add extra significance to every moment one of the band members talked or lifted up an arm or head banged a bit harder, showing more emotion than you would expect from these silver clad aliens.
What immensely added to the show were the lights and the smoke. It was both a pleasure to watch and to shoot. The show started with minimal blue lights just slightly outlining Deb Demure and Mona D, with a slow yet fitting addition of reds, greens, purples and occasional white light emanating right from under the platforms. Each song had a personal color scheme which seamlessly blended into the overall light storytelling, similar enough to make the show coherent, yet different enough to make each song stand out visually as well as musically. Also occasionally there was so much haze released that one could not see the band at all, literally making them drown in smoke. To follow my alien comparisons, imagine the old school depictions of an alien ship opening up: lots of white light and smoke, so it takes you a minute to see the mysterious silhouettes. That is exactly how some moments of the show looked. And accompanied by the appropriate electronic music of course.
The music itself was extremely charming and captivating. There is definitely something about this band, a good reason why they are where they are. I think Drab Majesty has found that sweet musical spot, where it’s not too fast, but not too slow, not too simple, yet not overly complicated, it is similar enough to flow seamlessly, yet different enough to keep you engaged and invested. And the lyrics have a nice mixture of being deep and flashing an occasional swear word. What also blew my mind, is that the vocals sounded exactly like the recordings, with all the robotic effects, that once again give this music and the band itself the slightly distant and mysterious vibe.
In the end it was an amazing show and I was sad once it was over. Looking forward to experiencing Drab Majesty more and highly recommend checking out this band, both in the live setting and the studio albums. And of course their new masterpiece, “Modern Mirror”.
All Photos by Ekaterina Gorbacheva