The Firebird welcomed Vagrant Records artist Active Child into its room last week, transforming the club into a tempest of classical sensuality and harmony.
The LA-based Superhumanoids put in an impressive showing, with glimmering West Coast pop run through a haze. Check out their page for a truly sedated version of the Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated.”
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Alec Koone (aka Balam Acab) arrived on stage clad in Raiders cap, plugged in his arsenal of equipment on his table and then cut the lights to immerse the audience in an otherworldly experience. Focused on his craft, the young composer only stopped once during his set to give a quick thanks to the attentive crowd.
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The performance of Active Child was strangely illustrated by the two Greek goddess statues (just my guess, I wasn’t a great history student) on stage and the green lazer beam that intermittently shot from the back wall. Mix one part classical purity, another part super futuristic, throw in enough R&B vibes to possibly make a baby and you might come close to the music being constructed by Pat Grossi. Active Child’s debut album, You Are All I See, has been my album of choice for the past few weeks and seeing Grossi and crew replicate songs like “Hanging On” and especially “Playin’ House” in person cemented just how magical the record is.
Photo Notes: Speaking strictly from a shooting (and not music) perspective, this was probably the most challenging shoot I’ve had in months. Despite having the lights dimmed a few songs in, Superhumanoids’ set turned out to be the easiest of the three in comparison. Balam Acab played in complete darkness, with the only light coming from his Mac and console buttons. The fog, lazers and floor LEDs added visual mood to Active Child’s performance, but wrecked havoc on the camera without any other front lighting. As well, it was just one of those unlucky nights where I picked the wrong side of the stage to camp out at, with Grossi’s harp positioned in the opposite corner. No worries. The evening still killed from a musical perspective.