Live Review: Levitation Room @ The Pearl, Vancouver - February 29th 2024

Live Review: Levitation Room @ The Pearl, Vancouver – February 29th 2024

It’s a leap year, so we all get one extra day to explore fresh sounds in live music. On this particular Feb 29th, a youthful crowd leaped and bounded to The Pearl for the west coast tour of two bands known for their far-out sounds: Brazilian trend-setters Boogarins and California chillers Levitation Room. While the stage was set for an evening of sonic exploration and psychedelic transcendence from the up-and-comers, unfortunately, we were down an act due to Boogarins not making it across the border, presumably left to roam the streets of Bellingham rather than make their date with a keen Vancouver audience. Despite this loss, the night was far from lacking talent, as Levitation Room took the opportunity to extend their set and ride the wave of what their bassist declared his favourite night of the tour. 

Slotting in as the perfect opener for the night was local group, Moonlight Years. Looking to kick things off, the frontman dryly remarked that they used to have a tambourine player, spurring the late sixth man to hurtle through the crowd to take his place centre stage, joking that he was fired. After the charmingly sloppy start, the guys set to work cultivating a unique blend of slow jams infused with a country twang and a hefty dose of psychedelia in equal measure. They were most effective, however, when they leaned all the way in on the psych vibes. They produced effortless instrumentals that flowed cooly, punctuated by bursts of energy like a salmon beating against the current of their rapturous stream of melody. 

Though it was my first introduction to the hometown fellows, the band seemed to have a loyal following of friends and fans in attendance, and for good reason. Harnessing their ’60s sounds, the band had some real standout moments at the backend of their set, piecing together an epic odyssey of sound that transitioned from shy to strident. The final song, propelled by a snazzy chugging beat and jazz-influenced progressions, got the crowd whipped into a frenzy. Sparse vocals complemented shining tunes, while the aforementioned tambourine player, keeping the beat meticulously, added a certain carefree energy to the performance. I guess he will get to keep his job after all. The homeboys recently dropped their self-titled debut album, which is well worth a listen.

Levitation Room took to the stage after a short break with an explosion of pure sunshine song-smithing. The band’s energy was instantly infectious as they smoothly navigated through technical changes to rhythm and melody. The group was hyping up the crowd with their sheer enthusiasm, pulling some fun stage jumps and shared jam moments. While their peppering of vocals had a gritty retro appeal, it was their instrumentation that was the meat of the performance. Trippy visuals looped hypnotically in the background, complementing the mesmerizing music, while sailing guitar soloing astounded the audience.

Showcasing plenty of tracks from their brand new album, Strange Weather, alongside some earlier crowd favourites, the band highlighted just how far they have come in refining their indie meets vintage sound. Though the frontman was struggling to hear his guitar on the monitor, he didn’t miss a beat, and the performance didn’t suffer for it. “We still sound sick, right?” drawled the bass player, amped to the max, heading straight into the next bouncy number with the whole band joining in on the oooh ahhhs of the chorus. The group’s alchemy was undeniable as they wove sprawling lo-fi expanses that would slow to a freeze and then ramp up heart-racingly once more. 

Levitation Room buoyantly lavished in a supersized set, on a roll. They slowed things down to a simmer for their final tunes, offering a romantic and wistful feel before bubbling to a boil in fits and waves, leaving the audience in a state of euphoria. As the crowd begged for an encore, the guys treated us to some final dreamy sequences, giving everyone a last chance to sway to the sweet psychedelic ponderings. The L.A. group proved their mettle with a powerful performance and the popularity of their hallucinogenic song stylings on streaming platforms was proven more than justified. Their ability to transport and transform is spectacular, and I’m delighted I got to share in their slice of sunshine on this cold winter’s day.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *