Deakin / Prince Rama / Flash Palace Cobalt, Vancouver BC September 22
Published Sep 26, 2010After two years of toiling around the city, Vancouver's Flash Palace finally landed their first high-profile gig. The youthful quartet were given the dream spot of opening up for one of their musical heroes and obvious influences: Animal Collective's Deakin. The band are seemingly wise beyond their years, successfully merging elements of U.S. post-rock, math rock and IDM, all sub-genres that thrived throughout the '90s only to lose favour over the last decade. Intermingling tight instrumental passages that recall early period Tortoise with skittering electronics and heavily affected, watery vocal lines, Flash Palace's approach is one that appears to be paying off.
Issues at the border caused Prince Rama to arrive at the venue a little late and, sadly, down a synth player. The female duo soldiered on anyhow and pulled off an ecstatic set of devotional psych that was based around tribal drumming, wordless vocal incantations and icy synth lines. Despite a crucial member missing, Prince Rama won over the crowd with what was easily the most exciting set of the night.
Backed by the remaining members of Prince Rama, Deakin took to the stage for a small but devoted crowd. Entirely missing from Animal Collective's now beloved Merriweather Post Pavilion LP, the founding member of the NYC group completely eschewed the cleaned-up and poppier direction of his band and instead reverted back to the years when they were making much more difficult music. Vocals were contorted and stretched into an otherworldly instrument, while his guitar — layered through an entire table of effects pedals — blurted out waves of blissful noise, capping off a night of unique, genre-bending music.