There are nights when the openers steal the show, but Saturday was not one of them.
A loose pack at The Chapel transformed into a rowdy dance floor when LA-based husband-wife electro-psycho-“ACID” duo Peaking Lights pounded out poppier versions of their experimental studio recordings. Their predecessors, another group of Angelinos, stood no chance — Dream Boys, with their playground rhymes, thickly-layered indie rock guitars, and equally thick hit-or-miss vocal harmonies, was a viscous misfortune enthralling only the fringes of the crowd. The front of the stage was essentially empty until Indra Dunis and Aaron Coyes replaced the full band setup with a couple of mixboards.
And most of us didn’t know what was coming.
By the stops and stalls of their second song, “Breakdown”, the lead single from Peaking Lights’ upcoming Cosmic Logic, you could see where the night was headed. The third row at San Francisco’s The Chapel acted like a barrier between the enthusiastic movers and the less so, but regardless we were all moved. Without outside help, the two-piece act sounded much fuller live, in part due to the heavy, heavy synth bass Coyes had rippling through the venue.
He and Dunis were unmistakably enjoying themselves on stage and the feeling was contagious, despite mediocre stage presence from the two. During “Breakdown” the two engaged in casual conversation, and in the next, Coyes did a quick wardrobe change mid-Peter Bjorn and John-ish whistle loop. Little deviations like that, with dynamic renditions of “Hey Sparrow” and “Beautiful Son” — the other two pieces, from 936 (2013), the band is best known for — Peaking Lights made ground Saturday, delighting old followers and gaining plenty more new.