Gang Gang Dance at Crescent Ballroom, 10/5/2011

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Gang Gang Dance, Prince Rama

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Last night was weird. Really weird -- but it wasn't a bum-pissing-on-the-light-rail kinda weird. It was an interesting sense of "exciting confusion" weird. On screen psychedelic videos accentuated by dim red and blue lighting set the tone for what was an evocative, seemingly drug-infused night. Well, I didn't see any drugs, at least.

Having seen Gang Gang in the past, I had a good idea of what was bound to happen. The 15-minute jam sessions, the extended songs, the overall strangeness of lead singer Lizzi Bougatsos. But I wasn't quite expecting to be completely floored by the exceptional musicianship of such a well-structured band.

The musical execution was spot on -- the two guitarists, seemingly apathetic at the start of the show, got a little more animated as their set drew on. Buogatsos was well in, walking in with a half-full (empty?) glass of wine and her characteristic infectious enthusiasm.

The crowd wasn't half bad either, everyone seemingly entrapped within a deep trance of musical surrealism. Perhaps the mysterious smell seeping out of the men's bathroom contributed to this...

Gang Gang Dance seem to have perfected the art of loosening up a tough crowd. Directly reproducing their fantastic 2011 record, Eye Contact with no change-ups could have easily fulfilled this daunting task, but their overall playfulness, improvisation and the addition of a brand new song, made the night a heck of a lot more special. It takes a lot of charisma to move a Wednesday night Phoenix crowd, but somehow they pulled it off.

It'll be a shame to not mention the random dude (band member?), who's job apparently was to dance around and wave a make-shift flag. Oh, there was also the seemingly stoned bassist of openers, Prince Rama, sitting on the far left of the stage, fiddling with his guitar. Speaking of which, Prince Rama's set was quite a thrill to watch, it was in a realm of it's own - Just look at this photo.

Yeah, it was a really strange night.

Set list (incomplete & out of order)


"Glass Jar"
"Chinese High"
"Adult Goth"
"Thru and Thru"

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Gang Gang Dance, and Prince Rama at Crescent Ballroom.

The Crowd: Decent mix of hipsters + space nerds.

Recommended If you like: 15 minute+ instrumental jam sessions, oh and dance parties... definitely, dance parties.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.