After his band had assembled their gear — two small amplifiers and a modest four-piece drum kit — beside the sound booth on the floor of the Biltmore, guitarist Yonatan Gat mumbled “We are Yonatan Gat. We will now perform rock and roll improvisations.”
Gat’s vocal mic was scarcely used again that night as he and his three piece band blew through a half hour’s worth of high octane, improvised psych-punk blasts which bore only fleeting resemblance to the recorded versions of their songs. The band’s love for playing with each other was obvious, and the more technical prowess they incorporated into their performance, the more they seemed to enjoy themselves.
As they played, all three members danced freely around the small circle of floor space afforded by the audience of twenty or so totally transfixed people.
At the end of the set, Gat quickly thanked the audience, stating that the band had played every song they had. While such a concession may have seemed modest, the set was a full ten minutes shorter than the band’s entire recorded output, which led this reviewer to interpret Gat’s words as a testament to the spirit of excitement and spontaneity that is built into alternative and improvised music.
Openers Dirty Spells — a three piece featuring drums, bass and electric violin — were a solid addition to the bill. Wearing novelty sized skull masks, the rhythm section created tight but by no means straight-forward perimeters, within which Emily Bach expertly used effects and violin to drive the songs through pounding rhythmic landscapes. Though a noisier band may have sounded more similar to Yonatan Gat, Dirty Spells definitely added depth to the show as a satisfying contrast.
(Image Note: Yonatan Gat (July 31st, 2015) || Photo by Marcin Lasinski)