Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Everest Open For Alberta Cross At The Troubadour

I'll admit it's been a while since I've seen Everest give a show, but they came roaring back to vibrant life in front of an adoring audience at The Troubadour on Tuesday night, July 24. They've been out on tour with Alberta Cross this summer and this was their Los Angeles stop. Picking up their latest album last week, before the show, I was bowled over to find this third album, Ownerless, every bit as exciting and dynamic as their first two releases, so I couldn't wait to hear it live.

Doing a little more homework, I also bought the latest album by Alberta Cross, Songs of Patience, and found it to be a tight record with a familiar '70s dinosaur rock wall of sound, with some pretty melodies, so I figured to stay for the headliner as well. The opening act was one of the guitarists from Alberta Cross, Aaron Lee Tasjan in a solo set. I really did enjoy his rambling, stream-of-consciousness songwriting. Like running into a talkative speed-freak at a truck stop. But his songs were both funny and acute.

I got a chance to say hi to Russell Pollard and Joel Graves as they were running around the club rounding up the band. We haven't seen each other in a while and it was great to see them again. But they took to the stage like rock stars. Everest played a set pulled from all three albums in what amounted to a greatest hits collection, liberally sprinkled with many songs from Ownerless.

"I See It In Your Eyes" from Ghost Notes and "Let Go" from On Approach were given new life with robust performances, while songs like ""Give a Little", "Far Off, Away" and "Raking Me Over The Coals" showed off some of the most impassioned vocals and aggressive instrumental performances that characterize much of Ownerless.

The band was at the top of their game and seemed to enjoy every minute they were on stage. That's infectious. And to see Russell, who has bloomed from a somewhat shy frontman to this rock and roll beast. I mean he really throws himself completely into the music and it was inspiring to both the audience and to his fellow band members. The excitement was palpable.

Working up a sweat and dancing around the stage, even scrunching down on the center stage and beating his tambourine on the floor as he listened to his band, made your realize he was relishing every minute. Surely world-wide fame can elude them for only so long. It was a performance I won't soon forget.

I was left weary and spent when Alberta Cross took to the stage at about 10:15, but they launched into some of my favorite songs on their record right away, so I stayed for a while. While the band is technically highly proficient, there's something a little glossy and surface about their music. But I did enjoy hearing their lead singer's powerful voice, the harmonies, and the wall of noise accompanying songs like "Lay Down" and "Life Without Warning" was decidedly impressive.


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