Live Concert Photography: Field Trip with Alexander F., Monograms and Buffalo Rodeo at The Knitting Factory 8/31/16
Buffalo Rodeo is a Bowling Green, Kentucky-based indie act comprised of Nate Davis, Zach Preston, Ryan Gilbert, Jordan Reynolds, and Patrick Duncan. The softer vocals and more atmospheric melodies of their most recent album, 123 Water, demonstrate a progression from the rock-based sounds of their first album Home Videos. They cite as their inspirations The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Tame Impala, and Kendrick Lamar.
Brooklyn based Monograms is comprised of Ian, Josh, and Mike. Their beginnings can be traced back to casual bedroom demos back in 2014, creating pop songs tinged with 90’s influences and post-punk New York with a slightly darker undertone. Monograms describes itself as a “Garage-Post-Wave-Psych”.
Alexander F’s provocative sound features sudden transitions and tempo changes. “Coffee” involves a suspenseful build-up of clashing drums and vocals, occasionally giving way to a moment’s breather before careening off the edge again. Their sound is jarring and all-consuming, its tendrils snake in to grab hold of the audience while the band’s movements mirror the tempo of the music. Alex Toth’s spastic, possessed state begins on stage but refuses to be contained, when he hurls himself off into the crowd, the finite cord of the mic is the only thing that keeps him tethered.
Alexander F, whose members include Alex Toth, Daniel McDowell, Christian Peslak, and Jason Nazary, is based in Brooklyn. Toth claims a key inspiration to their sound can be found in silence. An influx of material for writing music came by way of a 10 day, no talking meditation retreat in Quebec. The Pixies serve as another source of guidance.
It’s easy to get caught and lifted away by Field Trip’s mesmerizing ambient melodies and captivating vocals. The tone of their sound is warm and enveloping, it warbles at times, expanding and ballooning before pulling us back into an underlying structure. A sense of nostalgia pervades the set, especially prevalent in “Song for CA,” a track that ties vocalist Noah Champ back to his Los Angeles roots. The band’s other members include Nico Guyer, Phil Dabs, Skylar Young, and Jason Park; they formed in November 2014 when Noah moved to New York. Field Trip aims to synthesize a bit of the past with the present, to create a transcendent sound interlaced with neo-psych and 90’s synth pop. Their sources of inspiration include the The Velvet Underground and The Wake.