[Photos: Can Can's singer and guitarist in front of their floodlights.]
On the way to the Earl on the night of the 31st, the creepy musical swells provided by Album 88's ambient show eerily coincided with the branching lightning bolts shooting, forking across the clouds above East Atlanta. Inside the venue, the pre-show scene was similar: The low lighting in the Earl's back room revealed a glowing red on the walls and a muffled flurry of browns and grays everywhere else. People traversed the wide floor, ambling back and forth like so many slowed down flashes of electricity in the sky outside.
Local trio Can Can, whose The Holy Kiss EP was released in January, would do nothing to dilute the evening's atmosphere of teetering chaos. Immediately before their set they pulled up and turned on three blinding, expandable pillar floodlights on the stage, leaving us all blinking like deer in their in their headlights. The threesome is dynamic. The careening punk emanating from their one drum kit, one guitar and screaming vocals sounds like it was produced by an army silhouetted against the light.
Singer Patrick A. seems hard pressed to stay put, no matter how large-- or small, in the case of the Earl's stage-- a performance space he's given. This night, the whole crowd got to see him up close, as he spent almost as much time with his mic cord stretched to its limit as he spent sprawled around on the floor in front. Combined with the two instrumentalists' prowess, Patrick's lewd microphone gesturing and sheer abandon are infectious. And as the set concluded, the floodlights snapped down and flashed away as suddenly as they appeared.
Thee Crucials had their turn to storm at the audience next, and certainly took it. Combining chords and doo-woppish melodies with keys, punk sensibilities and reckless sing-along attitude, the evening's clouds parted and made way for glorious rays of drunken cheer. Joined by guests (members of Can Can, friends from the audience), they shook tambourines, slurred and strummed their songs to crowd, growing progressively less controlled but sporting wider and wider smiles. Again, the band/audience barrier dissolved as all mingled together, yelling.
Thee Crucials next appear at Lenny's on August 23. Can Can's next Atlanta show is September 4 at the Star Bar.
Thee Crucials on MySpace
Can Can on MySpace