By: Greg Caruso
Particle :: 03.14.08 :: El Rey Theater :: Los Angeles, CA
Particle has gone through a lot of transformations. Some for the better and some for the worse. On this Friday evening, however, something truly different happened. They managed to fuse beloved tunes by another famous L.A. act, The Doors, with they're own brand of space-porn flair and psychedelic fervor.
Considering the relatively recent loss of both Particle guitarists (Scott Metzger and Ben Combe) and a general lack of positive momentum as of late, I went into the El Rey Theater pessimistic, and I wasn't the only one. With serious questions as to how the band would adapt under the circumstances, they came out as a trio performing "Denmark." But instead of disappointment, seeing this configuration drove the point home that perhaps they should remain this way. They don't need a singer, or a guitarist for that matter. With just the core of Eric Gould (bass), Darren Pujalet (drums) and Steve Molitz (keys), their sound reaches dizzying heights. This has become more and more apparent over their years of rotating guitar players.
However, this isn't to say that the right guitar or the right voice wouldn't add to the overall dynamic. Doors guitarist Robby Krieger and singer Adam Iscove (AllRise) made this point clear as they came out and launched into a re-imagined "L.A. Woman." Hit after hit was churned out over the course of the evening including rarities like "Peace Frog," "Not to Touch the Earth" and the oft-covered Bo Diddley tune "Who Do You Love?" All of that on top of the standard Doors radio staples.
Molitz and Krieger's chemistry was incredibly impressive. Sure they've played together and are more than familiar, but the way Krieger was reacting to Particles' style, matching each of their licks with the complimentary noodling of a master, was still somewhat of a shock. Adding to the excitement, Iscove wasn't a Jim Morrison mimicker like Ian Astbury (The Cult) during the 21st Century Doors debacle; rather, he was very subtle in a way that let the lyrics flow through him.
The biggest surprise of the evening came when the band dropped the combo of "Roadhouse Blues" into "The Other One." Molitz has been doing the Phil Lesh thing as of late, but to see Robby Krieger jamming out to a Dead tune was truly a treat.
The crowd reaction throughout proved that the night's experiment, the second installment of a three date mini-tour featuring Krieger, was a complete success. The fitting finale was "The End," where the band twisted and turned through the multi-layered song in a way that would've made Jim proud.
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