The large, gothic ballroom in the Angel Orensanz Center boiled in a sinister red light that illuminated the decaying cathedral backdrop with its curling, cringing Corinthian collumns and rust-colored archways as Austin, Texas' psychedelic-rock group the Black Angels took the stage for a secret, invite-only show to give the masses a taste of their new album, Phosphene Dream, which officially debuts on September 14.
Already making a heavy showing at the SXSW festival earlier this summer, and continuing onto the Reading Leeds Festival in the UK just two weeks ago, the Angels have fulfilled the fall-tour prerequisite by captivating festival junkies in the summer months, and have thrown a glob of icing on the proverbial cake with their new album debuting this month. Taking much of their influence from the iconic psychedelic group The Velvet Underground (including their name and band logo), the Angels throw together a darker, more penetrating twist.
The twisted, hollow, echoing vocals of front-man Alex Maas in front of the dense, chest-thumping drumming of Stephanie Bailey and running alongside Christian Bland's harsh, piercing lead guitar riffs quaked the front-row of last night's show, and sent chills down the spines of even those still waiting outside to get in. At any moment, we thought, the string wire chandeleries holding live candles 12 feet above our heads would come crashing down, causing a chain reaction of destruction of the dark ballroom. And, amongst the chaos, the band would still be pounding their instruments on top of the rubble, and the show, in the end, wouldn't be that much of a secret anymore.
Check out the exclusive photo slideshow and video from last night's show.
All photographs and videos by Jonathan Legere