By Caleb Easterly
Your 33 Black Angels
Your 33 Black Angels played a wild, energetic show at Union Pool last Friday, blowing away the crowd with songs from their powerful new album, Moon and Morning Star. The show was a release party for the album, despite the physical album having been released more than a month ago.
The band is nearly a supergroup: at their fullest, they crammed five guitarists, a keytarist, and two drummers onto the tiny stage at the Pool. This lineup entwined melodies, vocal harmonies, and layer upon layer of guitar to create a complex, unique sound that blew away all the opening acts, both in sheer power and in originality.
The opening groups—Gringo Star, Organs, and The Above—all sounded more or less like combinations of The Kinks, The Who, and the Rolling Stones in their prime. They were musically capable and projected a compelling stage presence (and, in the case of Gringo Star, a frenzied energy), but this vein of hard rock rarely has anything new to say.
Union Pool is an undeniably cool venue; an open-air garden in the back features a built-in taco truck that was getting plenty of business from hungry hipsters. Unfortunately, this coolness extended to the audience, which mostly stood stock-still, with a few nodding heads here and there. When Y33BA really got going near the end of their set, their jamming would have created a mosh pit anywhere else, or at least some energetic dancing (props to the one guy who shamelessly gyrated in the front, though).
The band’s terrific set belied their new album, which definitely doesn’t sound like the work of eight musicians. However, Moon and Morning Star is a great listen, and is a refreshing work of straight-up hard rock that is a rarity to hear these days.