Gig Report: Sadside Project (+ Man on Wire, Omid Jazi) @ Calamita

I am quite keen on extremes. I like music that can easily become extreme without sounding awkward, bringing its own contribution to some of the most famous genres of the period, such as blues rock. Sadside Projects is basically winking at the garage of early White Stripes, blending it in with the Strokes of ‘This is It’, and a pinch of Eddie Vedder incursions a là ‘Ukulele Songs’. This is the unusual, but fascinating mix proposed to me at Calamita last Saturday. It was preceded by some completely dissonant performances, such as the dreams-inspired songs of Omid Jazi and the folk of Man on Wire.

The first act was a quite shy and willing artist, humble in manner and interesting in the musical choices: his songs are the result of his dreams transposed to the EP ‘Lenea’, in which electronic samples meet a quite anarchic guitar, that in its fragmentation create the perfect frame for such a surreal experience. From surreal to folksy with Man on Wire, with which the alternation of female and male vocals are enriched by two guitars, that create a folk-rock blend quite Boy & Bear-esque. Minimalist, but not simplistic, the performance is swinging between an electric approach (emphasized especially by the drums) and a more intimate one, with clear vocals and sound.

The real surprise, the act that struck me the most with its power and its complete insanity is Sadside Project. This duo (today accompanied by Roberta Sammarelli on the bass guitar) is a real burst of energy, in which garage rock, blues and some avant-garde noise mingled in an explosive formula. Even if its power is still audible in the album ‘Fairy Tales’, the stripped formation on stage accentuates its core, with a really painstaking work on distortions, breaks and timing, creating some passages in with drums and guitar lock perfectly together, always keeping the White Stripes’ fragmented style. Neurotic like the Hives, the pace and vocals are still quite Strokes-esque, going to the noise approach of Fugazi to some nu-blues hints, such as Vernon Selavy, Vermillion Sands and Wolf Parade. Swinging and hypnotic, Sadside Project act was the perfect conclusion for a fast pace series of live sets, so multifarious, but somehow connected at the same time.


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