WRITTEN BY : BEN ABRAMS
Ariel Pink and his eclectic band of weirdos stopped by Union Transfer on Friday. The Los Angeles based indie-pop star released his 11th LP Dedicated to Bobby Jameson in September. Pink has been creating lo-fi music for almost two decades now, but has somewhat recently attracted a broader audience. Most of his recordings take place at his home studio on vintage microphones and old tape mixing boards. It’s been a long time since Pink has come to Philadelphia, and I was excited to see what his new tunes would sound like on stage.
The openers for the show were Clang Quartet and Gary War. Clang Quartet was first on the bill and was led by a masked man who made glitchy electronic shrieks with a controller attached to his face. This was obviously a fairly strange performance, but the ridiculousness of this display matched that of the main act soon to follow. Gary War performed his psychedelic songs by himself with a guitar and backing track. He reminded me a lot of Kevin Parker of Tame Impala both musically and appearance wise. These two acts were certainly a spectacle to see.
By the time Ariel Pink and his band made it to the stage, the venue had almost completely filled up. Each band member came to the stage with a different costume on, including Mickey Mouse and an army general. Pink took the stage with a bottle of honey in hand, and the crowd began to cheer as they played the first single “Another Weekend,” from their new album. Pink was guzzling honey and getting it all over his face as the band closed out the song. Next up was the ultra-fast-paced track “White Freckles” – during which Ariel poured as much honey as he could over the now feral crowd. The band continued to play songs from their latest releases for a while, and then slowed down the set to play some of their quieter numbers from earlier releases, like “Baby.” The candle-lit stage provided a warm and intimate atmosphere that fit these tracks nicely. Unfortunately, the band left without an encore because the set would have gone too late, but still gave fans a show to write home about.