If thereâ€™s one thing The Raveonettes are known for, itâ€™s their ability to get loud. I found out just how loud they could get the last time I saw them a couple of years ago and I paid the price with my hearing. The ringing in my ears lasted a week, but it was totally worth it. This time around I came prepared, yet it proved to be useless as they brought their signature wall of sound to the Glasshouse in Pomona on Thursday night that left my ears ringing once again.
Since their formation in late 2001, the Danish duo of Sune Rose Wagner (vocals/guitar) and Sharin Foo (vocals/bass) are considered veterans of the music scene with five albums under their belts to show for it. To prove that they are still going strong, they released their sixth studio album, Raven in the Grave, this past April and are currently on tour in support of it.
The lone supporting act for the night was New Zealand-born Tamaryn. For weeks prior, Iâ€™ve been excited to see her live as quite a few people have been telling me about her. Playing primarily from her debut album, The Wave, her set was filled with slow, heavy, reverberated guitars, while her vocals were haunting and forceful. Iâ€™m usually a fan of the darker shoegaze and dream-pop sound (think Zola Jesus). However, it got really stale after the first few songs as the entire 30 minute set was repetitive. Tamarynâ€™s stage presence bothered me as well as I thought she tried too hard with her â€œdarkâ€ persona. She didnâ€™t acknowledge the crowd and left without saying anything after the last the song. Overall, it was a disappointing and forgettable performance.
Finally, The Raveonettes hit the stage to the loud, cheering crowd of Pomona. But Danish duo werenâ€™t alone as they were accompanied by two touring members who handled the percussion section. Like their latest album, they opened their set with â€œRecharge and Revolt.â€ For this song, Wagner took over the vocal duties, but without his usual guitar that fans are used to seeing. He proved to be a viable front man by charming the crowd with his soothing vocals.
They followed it up with another new track, â€œWar in Heaven.â€ The song was slower than your typical Raveonettes song, but their signature distorted guitars and 50s/60s pop hooks were still present.
The dual drumming on â€œApparitionâ€ stood out as the pounding of the toms on both sides of the stage echoed throughout the venue, imitating the sound of heartbeats. The reverberated vocals of Wagner and Foo and the slow, swirling guitars added to the brooding feel of the song.
â€œEvil Seedsâ€ intensified the crowd with jarring guitar hooks and pulsating drum beats. Foo then put down her bass and grabbed the mic as she serenaded the audience with her soft, graceful voice on the nostalgic balled â€œForget That Youâ€™re Young.â€
Although half their set was from their new album, they balanced it out with older songs such as post-punk style â€œAttack of the Ghost Riders,â€ â€œHeart of Stone,â€ and â€œLove in a Trashcan.â€
The band ended their 14-song set with fan-favorite â€œAly, Walk with Me.â€ The Raveonettes proved that they can get as loud as their influences in My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain as the guitars pierced through the ears of everyone watching and engulfed them in a sonic haze. As duo shredded on their guitars, the vertical lights in the background flashed heavily, hypnotizing the crowd.
The most impressive aspect of their set was the on-stage chemistry between the duo. Their experience together as a group really showed as Wagner and Foo sang so well in harmony, itâ€™s as if thereâ€™s really only one person singing the lyrics. The guitar and bass are consistently sound, crisp, and executed with ease. If they roll into your town, they are a band that canâ€™t be missed live as they put on one hell of a mesmerizing performance.
Photos and Videos By Ace Ubas