Saturday, May 9, 2009

Castledoor at Echoplex (4/28/2009) and at Temporary Spaces (5/1/2009)

Castledoor at the Echoplex

I had been trying to see a Castledoor set since December, but something always got in the way. I arrived too late for their sets at the Sweater Festival and Check One Twosday, and couldn't get myself out the door for their show at the Echo in March or at Bordello in February. But I got to make up for that by seeing them twice last week in two very different settings: at their Shouting at Mountains record release show on Tuesday at Echoplex and then a last-minute show at Temporary Spaces in Hollywood on Friday. Needless to say, I'm a fan and really looking forward to their June residency at Spaceland.

Record Release Show

This show lined up three of the most likeable bands in LA, if you combined stage presence/personality with the accessibility of their music: Princeton, Castledoor, and the Parson Red Heads.

I arrived at the Echoplex a little later than I wanted to. I was greeted at the door by a surprising list of set times: Castledoor was playing before the Parson Red Heads. I was still there early enough, but I would have expected the reverse. The Echoplex was a nice change of pace after seven straight shows at Spaceland. There was a lot of space and places to sit between sets.

I was able to see about 20 minutes of Princeton's set. I'm a big fan of their EP, which contains the only four songs they've ever released. I'm a bit skeptical of their new songs, though, especially the ones where one of the twins sings in a low monotone. I also wish they would play with their string section more often; of the three times I've seen them, only once have they had strings. The strings sound significantly better than the keyboard replacement.

And then I finally got to see a full Castledoor set. The band came out and I'm guessing most people were surprised that singer Nate Cole had dyed his hair platinum blond. Most of the songs they played were from the new album, but they also threw in "Magnetic Forces" and fan favorite "Dumpster Diving" from their first EP. I stood towards the back of the floor, right in front of the sound booth. But even though I was that far back Castledoor's energetic live performance was still able to reach me, although undoubtedly not as much as if I had been closer. Overall I was impressed with Nate's energy and the emotion with which he sings and performs.

Here's a video of "Across the Border"

And here's a video I found on YouTube of Nate introducing "Fifth Tambourine" by passing out a box with 60 tambourines in it.

The Parson Red Heads closed the show. I like them and they perform really well, but I wasn't too interested that night; I wanted something with a little more edge. I decided it was time to leave when after each song I kept hoping that for the next one they'd break into a World Record song.

Temporary Spaces Show

Last Friday Castledoor tweeted about a free show at Temporary Spaces that night in Hollywood. I had no plans, so I decided to check it out.

Temporary Spaces is a cool small club. It's about half to three-quarters the size of the Silverlake Lounge, and was a nice change from the relatively large Echoplex. Castledoor opened with "Fifth Tambourine" and kept me smiling for the duration of their set. I love watching bands who act like they're really happy to be there, and Castledoor fits that description.

Pictures from The Echoplex Show

Related Posts:
Shouting at Mountains Review

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