On October 16, The Horrors and Moon Duo played a pair of mesmerizing sets at the Fillmore, a venue with a cool atmosphere augmented by chandeliers lit up in blue and purple.
Moon Duo started off the night with a powerful set, mixing hypnotic black and white lighting with 60’s psych-rock synth and heavy guitars. In the background of this was constant heartbeat-like drumming, keeping the set cohesive. Although the venue was a little less than half full when Moon Duo started their set, they kept the energy up onstage, and that energy was reflected in the crowd, especially whenever guitarist Eric Johnson played a solo. The only real issue with Moon Duo’s set was that the sound was too loud at times in a way that was overwhelming and made it hard to hear what was going on. However, these moments did not detract from the overall strength of Moon Duo’s performance.
After a 15-minute intermission, it was time for The Horrors. The Horrors are Faris Badwan on lead vocals, Tom Cowan on synthesizer and bass, Joshua Hayward on guitar and piano, Joe Spurgeon on drums and backing vocals, and Rhys Webb on bass, organ, and backing vocals.
At the start of their set, the members came on stage a few at a time, starting with Tom, Joe, and Rhys. As they walked on stage, lights that looked like they were from a spaceship shined blue-white behind them, giving them an ethereal look. Soon after that, Faris and Joshua joined them on stage and the band began to play “Chasing Shadows,” from their newest album, Luminous. From this point on, the crowd was entranced, and by the time the band got to some songs from their second album, the crowd was hyped up and singing along. This was no doubt due to the fact The Horrors were giving a committed performance — three songs in, one could see the band members visibly sweating. During “Who Can Say,” the enthusiasm in the crowd was noticeable and one could hear the echoes of Faris’s singing channeled through the audience.
Overall, the set list was a nice collection of songs from the most recent three of The Horrors’ albums. Although audience members at times called out requests for songs from Strange House, The Horrors’ first LP full of garage punk/goth rock songs (which would have been great to hear close to Halloween), the set list made more sense as it was. Songs like “Sea Within A Sea” kept the audience entranced as the long instrumental sections were varied enough to keep one’s interest for the full eight minutes or so of the song and made one anticipate the return of the vocals.
In addition, there was a well-balanced mix of high-energy and low-energy songs. “Change Your Mind,” with pink, sweet-feeling lighting that matched the sort of 50’s ballad feel of the song, came right before “Mirror’s Image,” which was a shorter, less melodic song.
As the end of the concert drew near, the crowd’s excitement was amplified. Throughout the show, the crowd was slightly tame, grooving and shaking their heads rather than jumping around, but during “Still Life,” the second-to-last song, people had their hands in the air and were singing along.
The highlight of the night was definitely the very last song they played–“Moving Further Away.” The crowd was at peak excitement having just stomped and cheered for the band to come back for an encore, and the band was full of energy — they were letting loose, and each member seemed to truly be enjoying themselves. The band extended the usual instrumental section by improvising, and instead of singing, Faris dragged the mic stand to one of the speakers creating feedback. Finally, the band played one last note in unison, and the song and show were over.
The Horrors played a great set from start to finish, engaging with the audience and seeming to look right at you at times and having a good time as evidenced by the dances from different members of the band. They managed to not only keep the audience’s attention throughout the set, but their delight as well.
Article by Dainiz Almazan