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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 2, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 09
Atlas Sound gets experimental at Neumos
Arts & Entertainment
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Atlas Sound gets experimental at Neumos

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Atlas Sound
Neumos
February 28


Sounding much more experimental than a typical singer-songwriter, Atlas Sound performed to a packed house at Neumos on Tuesday night. It was a surprisingly strong turnout, considering the artist is best known for fronting the indie band Deerhunter. Atlas Sound is a one-man act whose real name is Bradford Cox.

Quiet as a mouse, Cox stepped on stage and greeted everyone with, 'Hey, everybody. How ya doing?' and then got right to work opening with 'Parallax,' the title cut from last year's well-received release. Cox's vocals were oddly yet beautifully layered against an airy backdrop, and the song ended with a fuzzy guitar distortion before coming to an abrupt finish and flowing directly into the next number, 'Recent Bedroom.'

The crowd was significantly young and hip, and like Cox - who first identified himself as Gay, then asexual - there was definitely a sexual variety of onlookers present. There were Gay boys, straight couples, Lesbian pairings, and a bunch of unattached guys who could play on two, maybe three, different teams. But what I loved about this audience was that throughout the concert they were so attentive; there wasn't any side-chatter or annoying distractions as you might get at other shows. These concertgoers came for the music, and found whatever space they could find to absorb it.

'Te Amo' was excellent, intro-ed by an uppity instrumental piece that highlighted Cox's solid guitar chops. He doesn't perform with a band, instead he loops all of his backgrounds on electronic equipment as the performance goes on. 'Shelia' and 'Amplifiers' were also part of the short set, which barely crossed the hour mark in duration.

'Thanks for coming out on a super night,' Cox, dressed in a plain white T-shirt and faded jeans with sloppy hair, said softly. 'That means a lot to me.' He then performed a glorious version of 'My Angel is Broken' and then dedicated 'Modern Aquatic Nightsongs' to all the 'unrequited faggots everywhere,' which got a cheery reception from the full venue.

'Mona Lisa,' the hit single from Parallax, was slowed down to an acoustic ballad. Midway through, however, Cox picked up the pace and turned it into an upbeat number. He polished off his set with the sentimental 'Terra Incognita,' dedicated to someone he described as 'the least sentimental person I know.'

This was a different kind of concert than I expected. It was louder and heavier in sound than I thought it would be. That said, I think Atlas Sound is incredibly talented and I would've terribly regretted missing the chance to see him in action.

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