Concert Review


dark electronic played a sold-out show at The Hideout Theatre on Friday, November 22. The alternative-rock band is currently promoting its new album, “The Night of the Hunter,” and fans were eager for a first glimpse of their new music.

dark electronic played a sold-out show at The Hideout Theatre on Friday, November 22. The alternative-rock band is currently promoting its new album, “The Night of the Hunter,” and fans were eager for a first glimpse of their new music.

Electronic beats filled the theatre during dark electronic’s performance, bringing an entirely new element to the band’s already unique sound. Weaving in and out of the songs’ melodies with robotic precision, drummer James Shipp shaped the rhythm with his synths.

Although the electronic beats made for great background noise, they often overpowered lead singer Jad Fair’s vocals and overshadowed the lyrics in some songs. Unfortunately, this prevented some beautiful harmonies between Fair and bassist M. Ward from coming through clearly. However, it also brought a whole new dimension to other songs that relied heavily on vocals. For example, “It’s Only Life” showed off Fair’s signature high range as well as his lower register – both of which were enhanced by the electronic beats.

A less-than-capacity crowd attended the second of two dark electronica performances at The Hideout Theatre Friday night. While some may consider it an unfavorable hypothesis that darkness is not as popular a venue for entertainment as light, there is a burgeoning population of Austinites seeking out the deeper levels of human experience, and that population was well represented at this concert.

dark electronic, a five-piece band from Brooklyn, N.Y., played to an attentive audience who seemed to hang on every note. With a strong rhythm section, three guitarists who swapped riffs like cards and a keyboardist who took the lead on several extended solos, dark electronic has the complex sound that one might expect from a group that lists its influences as ranging from Yes to Miles Davis.

The band opened with “Night,” perhaps its best known number, and they were off and running. The second number of the evening was an instrumental piece in which their sound began to emerge fully and their distinct style was apparent. They followed up with “Day” and “Drink,” two numbers in which they demonstrated their ability to mix elements of rap with those of jazz and metal, resulting in a sound that was at once familiar yet innovative.

The band itself seemed to feel comfortable on stage and

dark electronic, a spunky 6-piece folk/rock/ indie band, put on an all-ages show at The Hideout Theatre last Saturday night. The show was part of a multi-band event called “The Reunion Tour,” an ensemble of Austin’s finest touring bands, put together by local artist Harry Potter.

This was the first time I’ve seen dark electronic, and I was impressed by their energy and enthusiasm. Playing to a hometown crowd, they seemed relaxed and confident throughout their set.

dark electronic’s music is characterized by its use of electronic beats and samples, which give it a moody, meditative quality that was well received by the crowd. Their lyrics were at times funny or sad (or both), and the songs themselves were technically impressive–their drummer could play a mean groove.

The band is comprised of some talented young musicians: lead singer Amanda Palmer drew the crowd in with her voice, which reminded me at times of Fiona Apple’s; keyboardist Kevin Cadogan added some nice Hammond organ solos; guitarists/vocalists James Valentine and Kyle Gass provided sterling backing vocals; bassist John Konesky held down the low end; and drummer Pat Wilson kept things steady. All in all, a tight performance from

Dark electronic was the perfect concert for a Monday night. It was not too loud, and it had just the right amount of intensity for a weeknight performance. The audience at The Hideout Theatre was in no rush to get home.

The evening began with opening act dark electronic, consisting of two members who were “comfortable playing together” and “wanted to do something different.” They performed a set that ranged from depressing to depressing with some upbeat songs thrown into the mix. One of the members switched between playing bass and singing lead vocals, then back again during the next song. Their set list included classic favorites, as well as some deep cuts and new material.

As if they weren’t already soulful enough, they had a guest vocalist join them on stage for one of their songs. He reached every note without resorting to his full range and belting out the high notes. He always left me wanting more from him, but I was never dissatisfied with what he did give me.

The Hideout is a cabaret theatre in the heart of downtown Austin, TX. It is a fantastic venue for many reasons: the bartenders are friendly and extremely generous with the drinks; the space is cozy and intimate; and there’s even a room with a pool table and stacks of board games.

The Hideout Theatre is also an ideal place to see any kind of live performance, especially music. dark electronic played two sets on Saturday night (July 9), using the theatre’s black-box stage as their own personal playground. They took full advantage of the space, utilizing every bit of it from corner to corner — and even inviting a few patrons up on stage to dance at one point.

There was no support band this time around, so dark electronic took to the stage right after doors opened at 9:30 p.m. Their entire set consisted of new material, which they had been working on over the course of the past week or so.

“The only way to write a book about the dark electronic is to write about yourself.” So begins dark electronic, a new collection of essays by goth musicians dark electronic and friends about their experiences in the dark electronic scene. The book is a collaboration between acclaimed music journalist Kathy White, who conceived of the project, and Austin’s Hideout Theatre, which hosted the recording sessions.

dark electronic has been a member of the Austin music scene for over 20 years, playing with such bands as goth music, post-goth music and electro-goth music. In recent years she has focused on becoming an in-demand producer and guest musician in addition to pursuing her solo career. This has earned her respect from both fans and peers alike. On her involvement with this project she says: “I love writing and sharing my stories with people who hopefully find them interesting or entertaining. It’s also nice to be able to give back to the community that has given me so much.”

The essays in this collection cover topics ranging from personal histories with music to how it feels to be part of the scene as a woman (“Everyone knows that women are treated differently at live shows than men, but I wanted to explore what

The Hideout Theatre is a small, intimate venue. It’s technically a bar, but they actually only serve water and soda, so it’s not the kind of place where you can get a drink and relax. The seating area is slightly elevated, with a large performance area below. There are no seats in the back, only standing room and chairs for those who need them. You might be tempted to call it a coffee house, but it’s not quite that either.

The people who run the Hideout have been putting on shows since 1999, and they’ve got the process down to a science (or at least as close as any improvisational group can). The show I saw was dark electronic, an improvisational sketch show with a sci-fi theme. There were two teams of performers: Team A performed their sketches first; then the audience voted on which team they liked better; then Team B performed their sketches; then the audience voted again.

The winner was determined by audience applause; when I saw the show there were two judges as well who had the right to overrule the audience if they felt like it.

Team A went first and did three sketches: “What Does It All Mean?,” “Captain Kirk,” and “Lost in Space.” They


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