Autolux stopped by Vancouver on Saturday evening, bringing with them sounds of distortion and nostalgia for a bygone era of alterative rock. Playing Venue Nightclub to a criminally small audience, the three-piece spent the evening running through their catalogue of hits from recent album Pussy’s Dead as well as their inaugural release Future Perfect.
Autolux (comprised of members Eugene Goreshter, Greg Edwards, and Carla Azar) is an alternative rock band hailing from Los Angeles, California. Breaking out in the early 2000’s with their album Future Perfect, the band has spent their career on the fringe of fame; Autolux seems to be either a decade too late or too early to achieve popular success, although that may be the manifesto of alternative rock as a genre. Despite this, the band performed with wonderful passion and enthusiasm to the half-full room.
Opening with “Brainwasher”, drummer Carla Azar settled into a groove that persisted pleasantly throughout the entire evening. The group seemed to play a casual and demure persona on stage until the moment one member needed to liven up the audience with a bit of experimentation. For Carla, this took place during “Soft Scene”, in which she let the drum machine take the reigns as she stood atop her set to belt out “Kick it off/ Shake the ground/ Blow our brains up/ Make it loud/ You’ll be so free/ But not enough for me”.
Focusing primarily on material from Pussy’s Dead and Future Perfect, the audience responded with great fervor to the old and faithful anthems like “Blanket” and “Turnstile Blues”. Not to say that the newer work wasn’t well received but like many acts venturing into their second decade of performing, nostalgia often trumps invention.
The major disappointment of the evening was having the opener, Eureka the Butcher, unable to perform due to issues at the border: the band went on stage much earlier than anticipated. This may or may not explain the miniscule crowd (75-100 people at most) that unfortunately did not create much of an atmosphere. Small audience or not, Autolux made light work of filling the venue with sound and sentiment.
Apart from Carla’s masterwork of the drums – that oh-so-smooth delivery of every shuffle ringing through the soundsystem – Eugene Goreshter deserves credit for his manipulation of not only his bass but also his vocals. Having all three members of the band sing individually adds some great dynamics to Autolux’s recorded work but likely makes it difficult to recreate in a live setting. Eugene’s vocals seemed truest to form and most certainly the strongest of the three live.
Although the show was not without hiccups, Autolux continued to prove that their lack of notoriety is not the fault of any lack of talent but perhaps just an unfortunately consequence of time and culture – but if they gave a shit about popularity, that wouldn’t say much for alt-rock, would it?
Full gallery by David Lacroix