Falling up Stairs: May 12 at The Redlight

Unfortunately, though I arrived at the Redlight at 10 p.m., I realized I had missed the debut set from the opening band, Set & Disection, which featured members of Todos Somos Lee and Rooftops. The crowd was a buzz from the music and ready for Falling Up Stairs.

It all begins with beautiful feedback that evolves into a screaming sax solo. Standing room crowd, so much so that it is impossible to tell where the crowd ends and Falling Up Stairs begins. Ryan, Edwin, Brendan and Jonathan suddenly are the ones with instruments. After the squelch of pure and ominous noise, the crowd steps back. These are strange musical keys, whistled tunes of serial killers doing their dark work, Chinese butchers carving the bone with swift strokes. It is all about the slow build right now. A train is coming from far away.

The percussion creates a throbbing beat of metal running over the rails. The intimacy of the Redlight leads you to believe that you are sitting in a friend’s living room. But then the music spirals into sublime spaces of complex alienation. The intimate space is suddenly too intimate, inside your skull like a snake of many diamonds, uncurling with each new riff. The crowd is thoroughly entranced, letting the skull snakes unfurl with abandon.

The second piece is heavy funk. Discordant works of music hewn out of some weird firmament. Quick time and mood changes. Imagine John Coltrane as a paranoid schizophrenic on LSD. Absolutely beautiful. Awkward and wonderfully difficult confrontational music. Raw and uncontained. At times, reminiscent of the Dirty Three with all the shifts and changes.

The last piece starts with the tribal throb of drums with enormous, monstrous and wicked, sax riffs peeling off into the night like dark genies freed from the interior of the instrument. These are occult intensities, weird and uncanny and amazing to experience. The crowd is twisted into musical ecstasy. Rare to witness and be a part of. All together beautiful and strange.