Gang Gang Dance at Crescent Ballroom, 10/5/2011

Categories: Last Night
Lizzi Bougatsos
Ade Kassim
Lizzi Bougatsos of Gang Gang Dance

Gang Gang Dance, Prince Rama
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Last night was weird. Really weird -- but it wasn't a bum-pissing-on-the-light-rail kinda weird. It was an interesting sense of "exciting confusion" weird. On screen psychedelic videos accentuated by dim red and blue lighting set the tone for what was an evocative, seemingly drug-infused night. Well, I didn't see any drugs, at least.

Having seen Gang Gang in the past, I had a good idea of what was bound to happen. The 15-minute jam sessions, the extended songs, the overall strangeness of lead singer Lizzi Bougatsos. But I wasn't quite expecting to be completely floored by the exceptional musicianship of such a well-structured band.

The musical execution was spot on -- the two guitarists, seemingly apathetic at the start of the show, got a little more animated as their set drew on. Buogatsos was well in, walking in with a half-full (empty?) glass of wine and her characteristic infectious enthusiasm.

The crowd wasn't half bad either, everyone seemingly entrapped within a deep trance of musical surrealism. Perhaps the mysterious smell seeping out of the men's bathroom contributed to this...

Gang Gang Dance seem to have perfected the art of loosening up a tough crowd. Directly reproducing their fantastic 2011 record, Eye Contact with no change-ups could have easily fulfilled this daunting task, but their overall playfulness, improvisation and the addition of a brand new song, made the night a heck of a lot more special. It takes a lot of charisma to move a Wednesday night Phoenix crowd, but somehow they pulled it off.

It'll be a shame to not mention the random dude (band member?), who's job apparently was to dance around and wave a make-shift flag. Oh, there was also the seemingly stoned bassist of openers, Prince Rama, sitting on the far left of the stage, fiddling with his guitar. Speaking of which, Prince Rama's set was quite a thrill to watch, it was in a realm of it's own - Just look at this photo.

Yeah, it was a really strange night.

Set list (incomplete & out of order):

"Glass Jar"
"Chinese High"
"Adult Goth"
"Thru and Thru"

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Gang Gang Dance, and Prince Rama at Crescent Ballroom.

The Crowd: Decent mix of hipsters + space nerds.

Recommended If you like: 15 minute+ instrumental jam sessions, oh and dance parties... definitely, dance parties.

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MELT Flagstaff
MELT Flagstaff

Gang Gang Dance put on an amazing performance on Wednesday night, but this review is poorly researched and sounds typical of an uninformed Phoenix scene writer. "Last night was weird", "overall strangeness" and "overall playfulness" are boring descriptions of the great vibe that Crescent had on Wednesday, not to mention how an intimate crowd at a brand new venue with two amazing acts who could only be described as "being on drugs." Charismatic is never how I would describe a Phoenix crowd, no matter what day of the year it is, but everyone at the show seemed to enjoy themselves and everyone was really friendly and the staff at Crescent were great. Cheers to Crescent Ballroom and the promoters for putting on a great show.   

Christian Dim Sum Espinoza
Christian Dim Sum Espinoza

great review ++ yea there was something real funky in the air as soon as Gang Gang went on = the ultimate stamp for a chill night 

Ade Kassim
Ade Kassim

Hello, friend. Did you actually read the review? Doesn't seem like it. Did I bash on the performance, the crowd or the venue? Not at all. Did I not mention Gang Gang Dance's exceptional musicianship, and did I not give a kudos to the crowd? I sure did. I truly appreciate your comment, but please next time, read first. How do you poorly research a review? Isn't it based solely on experience? I've seen Gang Gang Dance scores of times, and I'm a big fan, I'm also a fan of Crescent Ballroom - This review pretty much said the show was awesome - you seem to have just highlighted two phrases that are completely disconnected from the entire review. Once again, calling me uniformed is rather silly, I assure you, I'm far from it. Thanks for reading!

Ade Kassim
Ade Kassim

Thanks! Yea, it was definitely a chill night.

MELT Flagstaff
MELT Flagstaff

"It'll be a shame to not mention the random dude (band member?), who's job apparently was to dance around and wave a make-shift flag."His name is Taka. Yes is part of the band. He is their spiritual leader. 

I read the entire 2 paragraph review multiple times and it totally missed the mark on the vibe and the crowd. You should start writing with more facts on hand, because your opinionated writing is diluted and stereotypical. Saying the crowd wasn't "half bad" doesn't sound like kudos to me, nor did you mention the friendly staff or new venue once in your review. 

To even haphazardly mention bums pissing on the light rail or calling the atmosphere of the show "drug-infused" is very short sighted, and makes me wonder how you would describe the "scores" of GGD shows you have seen in the past. 

I am not writing these comments because you bashed the band or the venue. I am writing these comments because you are making all of us who attended the show look like idiots due to your lack of focus and knowledge.

Ade Kassim
Ade Kassim

Hello again! Oy, thanks for the good info. I do believe we've mentioned the new venue and the staff scores of times in our prior reviews - you should have done some research ;) - I think it would be a little silly to constantly state that, don't you think? Gosh, I am quite sorry I made you and the other folks seem idiotic, my sincerest apologies. Thanks for your comment. I'll be sure to note it next time; and be sure to lighten up, you seem angry - life's not that hard. This should be an educated exchange, insults aren't necessary. Positive vibes mate, go out and enjoy music, rather than waste time attacking my apparent lack of knowledge, ehh? Cheers lad!

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