I have always been here before: Roky Erickson live at Neumo's

from Seattle Examiner on

It's hard to fully explain the massive musical impact (and the harrowing life story) of Austin, Texas singer/guitarist Roky Erickson in a few sentences (feel free to go here for a more detailed overview of his life and career). Suffice it to say that the man's mere presence on a music stage is a miracle; and as he proved in Seattle Thursday night, he can still tap into that combination of wildman blues and psychedelic imagery that made him and his former band the 13th Floor Elevators such significant influences on everyone from the Jefferson Airplane to the White Stripes. 

Erickson's recent album True Love Cast Out All Evil is a moving, rootsy collaboration with Okkervil River, so it makes sense that two of this town's best alt-country bands (Massy Ferguson and The Maldives, respectively) opened up the show with solid sets. But when he hit the stage at Neumo's Thursday night, the garage-rock legend and the four young players backing him cranked the amps to eleven.

The entire set focused on Erickson's most blistering solo material, with two Elevators chestnuts ("Reverberation" and the utterly classic garage-rock anthem, "You're Gonna Miss Me") interspersed. And if the band's playing was rawer than that of the Explosives (the Texas ensemble that backed Erickson off-and-on for thirty years), they more than made up for their lack of polish with hungry intensity. 

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