The lights dim as Salsa brass beams throughout the crowded corridor of Lincoln Hall. Spectators smirk and smile, anxiously awaiting the arrival of Allah-Las and the impending Californian psychedelia theyre about to witness.
Allah-Las consists of Miles Michaud and Pedrum Siadatian on guitar, Spencer Dunham on bass, and Matthew Correia behind the drum set. For their live shows, Jeff Luger assists with percussion, thumping the congas or shaking a tambourine or maraca at any given moment.
Originally formed amidst the classic record stacks of the infamous Amoeba Music in Los Angeles, Allah-Las sound glows with 60s nostalgia reminiscent of The Kinks, The Zombies, The Beach Boys and even a little Doors. But dont get me wrong– despite their obvious influences this a very unique band. And on Saturday night — during an 80 minute, 20 song setlist in front of a packed Lincoln Hall — they proved it.
Approaching the stage to the audiences eruption of applause, the band strutted into position with a cool, breezy confidence (certainly gained through their plethora of performances within the past two years) before breaking into Worship the Suns fantastic instrumental, No Werewolf.
Enveloped in white and green light, Allah-Las bounced back and forth between their two albums, rocking from the psychedelic sonic beaches of No Voodoo to the folky greens of Better Than Mine back to the crowd-pleasing sands of Catamaran. Throughout the night Michaud hit the entirety of his notes with ease; displaying his distinctive vocal range as supporting Beatles-esque harmonies complimented him through each octave. Instrumentals like Ferus Gallery engulfed onlookers in a mind-bending haze, and as a nod to their roots, they even covered Calm Me Down by The Human Expression.
With such musical versatility, its unfair to pigeonhole a member of Allah-Las in a specific role. All four sang lead at least once throughout the set, Michaud and Siadatian switched between lead and rhythm guitar, and the former even slapped the skins at one point as Matthew Correia enthusiastically and gutturally channeled his inner Jim Morrison, belting out the lyrics to show closer, Long Journey.
This isnt the type of show where one stands in awe of a band thrashing on their respected instruments or jumps up and down to heavy, trouncing bass lines.
Allah-Las music is melodically meticulous yet very breathable and organic; transcendent even, taking the listener on a journey with each track.
Visuals on a screen above the band depicted a mesmerizing and hypnotizing first person account of the open southwestern road, speeding along a desert raceway, the sights and sounds as aesthetically in sync as their vocal harmonies.
An Allah-Las show transports the listener to different synesthetic landscapes at a psychedelic velocity. In the pit, you only have one choice: stand back and enjoy the ride.
Follow Me Down
De Vida Voz
I Had It All
Tell Me (Whats On Your Mind)
Calm Me Down (Human Expression Cover)
Better Than Mine
(All photos courtesy of Blake Schwarz)