The fourth edition of the Ecstatic Music Festival got underway in earnest last week with a pair of shows that featured unique collaborations between musicians from both the indie and new music worlds. On Wednesday night at the Kaufman Center, Lesley Flanigan opened with a performance of Amplifications, which she's been developing for the past several years using a pair of handmade speakers, a microphone, and her own voice. Despite being visibly pregnant with her first child, Lesley knelt low over the speakers, creating deliberate feedback that seemed to come from everywhere at once, blending the dissonant churn with the sweet cooning of her own voice.
Following her solo set, Lesley was joined onstage by the Brooklyn-based indie band People Get Ready, whose unique movement-based performance is rooted in lead singer Steven Reker's background as a dancer for David Byrne and Miranda July, among others. Together with bandmates Jen Goma (A Sunny Day in Glasgow) and Luke Fasano (ex-Yeasayer), Reker and Lesley sang a pair non-verbal songs, waving their microphones in front of their mouths to create a kind of amplified Doppler effect.
People Get Ready closed the show their own high-energy set, which all but had the crowd up and dancing with Reker's drop kicks and spins. What would have otherwise come across as cookie-cutter indie rock felt more like genuine performance art, in the best sense of the word. Keep an eye out for these guys at a rock hall or art space near you.