Concert Review: Spectrals, April 25, Phoenix Concert Theatre

While Spectrals may owe a sonic debt to garage rock and early rock n’ roll ballads, frontman Louis Oliver Jones may be one of the least overtly rock n’ roll seeming guys out there.  An unassuming, low key demeanor was on display from the beginning of the band’s set opening for Cults.  After announcing “We’re very excited to be here, ” he added, “That didn’t sound very sincere,” recognizing the fact that he wasn’t quite at “Hello Cleveland!” or “Scream for me, Long Beach!” levels of enthusiasm.  He was, however, definitely genuine and sincere, although there’s very little pretense involved with his presentation.  He simply comes across as a regular guy, which is kind of refreshing.  Dressed onstage in a decidedly casual ensemble of plaid shirt, beige pants and a white baseball cap, he looked more like he just threw something on to grab some milk from the store rather than someone in a band.  And in a way, it totally worked.  The focus was more on the songs than on the presentation, and the songs are good enough to stand on their own – solid, melodic, catchy tunes reminiscent of the tunes of the ’60s as well as more current indie sounds.  So while Jones may not look terribly “rock” onstage, he certainly does know how to rock. 

And besides, if you really wanted some rock spectacle during their set, you only needed to turn your attention to the bassist, who really seems to be the showman of the group.  Kicking, dipping, swaying, wielding his bass like a machine gun at the crowd, he behaved as if he was acting out all of his cock rock fantasies onstage, even when it didn’t really suit the song they were playing, or even fit in rhythmically.  Unsurprisingly, the internets have already captured his moves for posterity.  Clearly, in his mind, he’s Gene Simmons.  More power to him.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts, Everything