Words by: Brennan Lagasse | Images from: telepathmusic.com
Telepath :: 01.31.10 :: Crystal Bay Club Casino – Red Room :: Lake Tahoe, CA
Coming off three solid shows in the San Francisco Bay Area, Telepath showed up to the Crystal Bay Club (CBC) and took the audience for a wild ride. Blending their unique sound full of Middle Eastern, Afrobeat, drum & bass, and dub influences, this three-piece electronica act continues to impress, gaining fans at every stop they make.
Keyboardist Michael Christie set the tone for the evening, sharing that this was the band's second trip to the CBC and Tahoe, saying, "This place is like nowhere else we play." The Red Room is great for a band like Telepath. The sound quality is fantastic, and the visuals are enhanced by several psychedelic screens and a shimmering ceiling.
In typical Tahoe fashion, the show began to a sparsely populated room as attendees milled about the casino waiting for the music to start. Wasting no time, Christie, along with bassist Curt Heiny and drummer Mike B, dropped directly into "IPS." Telepath has clearly gotten tighter as a band since the release of their acclaimed 2008 album, Contact, and their sound seems to have gotten more polished as they continue to tour throughout the U.S.
"IPS" started with a deep bass and driving drumbeat, setting the foundation for the song's signature soaring keyboards. "IPS" bled into "Subterfuge," pointing to a trend the audience would be feeling for the rest of the night. While the songs played didn't necessarily segue into each other in the traditional jam band sense, there was barely a break between pieces.
As the monster set continued every one of the textured sounds Telepath brings to its show were on display. Computer samples coupled with worldly beats created visions of a bazaar in India. Emotion was felt and elicited from the spacey, light sounds of "Realize," while the intricate improvisation during "Hero" had the whole crowd moving as one collective unit. Another clear highlight came during the deep grooves of "Fela Through," a brilliant twist of Afrobeat and electronica; it just may have been the jam of the night.
While there were times during the show that rhythms and beats sounded like Thievery Corporation, STS9, or Lotus, in the end the music that was produced was nothing but Telepath. A trio that can often sound like six or more people, they blend sitar and guitar sounds with conscious lyrics over a solid keyboard-bass-drum package to create an original offering.
As the 16-song set came to a close, Telepath let loose the "Peaceblaster 68" remix they did for the STS9 album Make It Right Remixes (JamBase review), a compilation of donated remixes from numerous artists from all over the world to help fund rebuilding in New Orleans. Needless to say, the crowd loved it.
Briefly, everyone seemed to think the night might be over after that bust-out, but Telepath would never leave their rapidly growing fan base hanging. The double encore of "Jadhi" and "Haze-Mirr" closed out another grand evening in Tahoe, with the full moon high overhead and a joyous bunch of heads cruising home after a fabulous night of music.
01.31.10 :: Crystal Bay Club Casino – Red Room :: Lake Tahoe, CA
Infinite Paradise Station, Subterfuge, Realize, Cinema, Invisible Hero, On the Trail of Giants, Chads, Fela Through, All Fruits Ripe, Regan, Inter, A Critical Mass, Mama, Murder, Dust, Peace Blaster 68 Remix
E: Jadhi, Haze Mirr
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