Live Review: lalochezla, candysound, the hague, portals align

Nov. 10, 2013 • the lil’ wisconsin

At this time in my life, actually getting out to shows that I’m not putting on myself is a shamefully lacking occurrence. That being said, while I normally set up the shows at the Lil’ Wisconsin, this one’s credit does not belong to me (thanks to Jason Wild and Teo Crider). Excited by the thought that I’ll finally be on the receiving end of a Wisco show; I rushed out of work and headed over to my all too familiar stomping grounds, only to be in a now unfamiliar position as an audience member.
Bellingham newcomers, Lalochezia, opened the bill. They set a standard. Loud and unforgiving, they powered through song after song.  Drummer Jason Wild is a beast, beating his drums to a pulp every time he plays. I can’t imagine any were in tune by the end of the set. The collaborative sound of Jason and guitarist/vocalist Mike Graves is a fat, fuzzy, “tuning is for posers, just use more distortion” type sound. All the while, Mike was yelling through a blown speaker and Jason didn’t even bother using a mic to scream his guts out. It was intense LO-FI at its best. There was a ton of music in there too. Under all the energy, Mike is a wizard on guitar (if you don’t believe me, check out his other band Creech). Lalochezia may be a green band for now, but rest assured  that if these two stick together they will grow into a powerhouse.
As Portland’s The Hague set up their gear, I was unsure of what to expect. I noticed a comically large drum set and their own stage lighting. They plugged in and off they went. The light show was a first at the Wisco. Initially, it was entertaining. Then it became a little distracting. Finally it got to the point where I was able to ignore it because these guys are so good at what they do musically that a flashy stage show didn’t really matter. A stark contrast to their openers, they were clean and precise; and just like the openers, they had excellent chemistry.
Candysound is a house favorite.  There isn’t a whole lot to say about them, except for how lucky we are to have them in Bellingham, able to call them one of our own. Their performance was highlighted by the fact that they weren’t playing with their own gear. Showcasing this ability to adapt as a group is why every time I see them is better than the last, and why they’re always my favorite part of the night.
Portals Align closed out the night. As a 4-piece instrumental progressive metal band, they were incredibly well received. Mosh pits were sprouting left and right throughout their set. Unfortunately for me, I was having difficulty enjoying the set past the first song. I’m not often one to enjoy most music that has progressive and instrumental descriptions, at least not for long durations. I will give credit where credit is due, though. They killed it.
-Andrew Beer