The Black Angels and Sleepy Sun Last Night at Detroit Bar

Kim Conlan

The Black Angels and Sleepy Sun
May 17, 2011
Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa

Everyone showed up promptly for this Tuesday night show so as not to miss Sleepy Sun and The Black Angels. Last fall, Sleepy Sun was hypnotizing a packed crowd at Spaceland (now called The Satellite) in Los Angeles. Back then, a petite female vocalist, named Rachel Fannan, crooned enchanting harmonies alongside the male lead vocalist, Bret Constantino.

Tonight, the psychedelic rock band from Santa Cruz is now a solid setup of straight testosterone. As before, the groove of Sleepy Sun's music was mesmerizing, their passion just as strong. But without Fannan's angelic melodies, Sleepy Sun lost the true awe factor that tied the members together so perfectly, and kept the crowd's attention.

While Sleepy Sun presented a more romantic musical abstraction, The Black Angels went right for the gut with gritty psychedelic blues riffs, fused with  a bit of classic Brit rock seeping in between each note.

As lead singer Alex Maas' sweat collected on his denim button-up, his shrill melodies dug deep, with a constant orchestra of reverb around him for support.

The Crowd: The men: fashionable hipsters. The women: eclectic chic. People came to the show because the assume they have admirable style, and they understand that the fashionable place to be on a Tuesday night in Orange County is at this show.

Overheard in the crowd: "I have to be careful, looking at the lights might trigger my epilepsy."

Set List:
You On the Run
Bad Vibrations
The Prodigal Son
Young Men Dead
Entrance Song
Yellow Elevator
Black Grease
Haunting at 1300 McKinley
The Sniper
Better Off Alone
Surf City
Bloodhounds On My Trail
Phosphene Dream

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