Kikagaku Moyo, The Myrrors, The Night Collectors, The Flycatcher, Tuesday, May 6
Watching Night Collectors frontman Jeff Lownsbury wring sounds out of his electric guitar that may not have been heard more than a handful of times since the invention of the instrument was equal to the excitement of watching his band reimagine rock 'n' roll.
The notion that rock music is a dead art form—that it has gone as far artistically as it's gonna go—is time and again proved to be worthy of contempt and dismissal when you witness a young man or woman merging into their own definition of the music. As for the Night Collectors' vision and version, well, it's pretty simple: screeching guitar feedback, a Casio synthesizer on the "Riot Squad Siren" preset, while the rhythm section imitates the preprogrammed disco or samba beat on the Casio. Lownsbury and vocalist/guitarist Connor Gallaher intone somewhere between a wail and a scream, and dementia ensues. The Night Collectors' refusal to include Woodstock-isms into their psychedelia paid off in dividends (or maybe this is what Ten Years After sounds like on a sheet of acid, who knows?) and set the bar for the rest of the show incredibly high.
The Night Collectors have played only a few shows, but the Myrrors were a complete mystery. The only fact that can be confirmed is that the band lives in Tucson and doesn't play a lot of shows here. For an act with nearly 11,000 Facebook fans, it's astounding how they've remained under the radar, but no less astounding than their music, a heady mix of psychedelic rock and all of its offshoots. The Myrrors relied on brawny instrumentation and traditional song structures, which were ingratiatingly haunting and gorgeous, climaxing in a slow-burning, translucent, epic set closer.
Kikagaku Moyo, on tour from Japan, confirmed what the supporting bands hypothesized—which is that the human brain can be destroyed without an expensive drug regimen and the pesky aftereffects (bankruptcy, physical maladies, death) associated with it. But the quartet wasn't violent, like the Night Collectors, nor did they work within the relative conventionality of the Myrrors. However, the level of sensory overload the quartet delivered was remarkable. And they added Afro-funk beats. Do I need to repeat that? Your move, Tucson.