The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
BLACK ELK MEDICINE BAND FEATURING ISAIAH MITCHELL AT MOJOS BAR FREMANTLE 2013

THE BLACK ELK MEDICINE BAND

featuring Isaiah Mitchell

Live at Mojos Bar, Fremantle

20TH MAY 2013

 

 

 

 

Isaiah Mitchell is not necessarily a name that a lot of people might know unless you are a fan of Earthless, a psychedelic rock band from San Diego but it's a name that you should know given the talent this guy has. Heading into Australia for his first solo tour in the country, those that know his music were undoubtedly looking forward to the show, and when I spoke to him on the phone a few weeks previous to the show, it was clear he was too. Playing at Mojo's in Fremantle was a natural choice of venue given that the Fremantle music scene lends itself very well to the psychedelic/experimental rock that he is known for, the crowd also matching the vibe of the show.

 

 

Opening up were 2 similar tastes of music, Mt. Mountain who just recently opened for OM, a mix of mellow to mid-tempo rock beats and Scum, a 2 piece band that featured some mesmerizing and warped out guitar solos in a mostly instrumental setting. It was a pretty good start to the night already!

 

 

Coming out not long after were Isaiah and his co-stars, drummer Robert MacManus, who is also the tour promoter and plays in a few other bands and Nick Allbrook on bass, most famous for Tame Impala, which together makes up The Black Elk Medicine Band for the Australian tour. A touring band with no set line-up and no set songs based mostly on jam sessions and live improvisation; this was a pretty unique thing to witness, at least on my end personally speaking. The band launched into a very lengthy opening track which looked and sounded completely spontaneous, it almost felt like watching a band in a studio jamming out a brand new song which had yet been written. With MacManus holding down the drum beats with some flair and Nick hitting out the bass lines for rhythm, it left Isaiah completely open to do his thing, wailing on the guitar, throwing down guitar effects and jamming the hell out of the stage. After what seemed like hours, a small bridge led to the next "song" though I'm not sure really if, 1, you could call it a song and 2, where one finished and the next began but regardless, the band continued to pummel the audience with more funked out psychedelic riffs which when finally ending, forced the crowd to give the first full round of applause by the amazed crowd. One description that I did hear was a reference to a hint of Quentin Tarantino style kind of music which is probably the closest I could come up with as well. Either way, it was a great performance. After a quick few words by Isaiah thanking the crowd, the band launched back into more experimental rock and taking us into another world of weird and wonderful guitar sounds.

 

 

The set was mostly instrumental, Isaiah only singing briefly in a part of the show and the sound was crystal clear, as one would hope. My only negative view on the whole thing was it ended sooner than I wanted, really craving more of what I had just seen. I did manage to have a few words with Isaiah after the show and asked him how much was the show improvised. His answer was most of it, and that pretty much summed it all up. To be blown away by something that good and to find out how spontaneous the show was left a solid impression at the end of the night. Let's hope an album eventually comes out from all this!

 

 

 

 

words and images by Andrew Schizodeluxe

 

 

BLACK ELK MEDICINE BAND FEATURING ISAIAH MITCHELL AT MOJOS BAR FREMANTLE 2013