Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Red Paintings: a review

Trash McSweeney, vocals and guitar, The Red Paintings, Sacramento,
Trash McSweeney, The Red Paintings, Sacramento
Last night, I was at the Ace of Spades to photograph and to review The Birthday Massacre... not expecting to be hijacked by one of the support acts. Right in the middle of the show, The Red Paintings. Quirky, incredibly musical, entertaining, and just... wonderful.

Alix Kol, violin, The Red Paintings, Sacramento,
Alix Kol, The Red Paintings, Sacramento
Led by singer-songwriter Trash McSweeney, The Red Paintings started in Australia, but have strong fanbases in Europe and here in the USA; they also have something very unique. "Orchestral rock"... maybe. Theatrical? Yes, indeed.. Is it art? Entirely. Brilliant music? Absolutely.

(Seems that I'm seeing a lot of Australian musicians this year: Empire of the Sun at TBD Fest, The Australian Pink Floyd Show at Cropredy...)

Art on stage, The Red Paintings, Sacramento,
Art on stage, The Red Paintings, Sacramento
Geisha bass player. Wonderful violin. R2D2 on Trash McSweeney's back. A young woman being body-painted at stage left, an artist painting on a canvas at stage right. These are not distractions. These are within the song.

Bass player, The Red Paintings, Sacramento,
The Red Paintings, Sacramento
Check out "Streets Fell Into My Window", from The Red Paintings' album, The Revolution Is Never Coming, for an example.


More photos from The Red Paintings show can be found in the Toon's Tunes photo gallery.

(I am still not convinced by the idea that concerts now have to have five bands--or more--in the lineup. They've become snippet shows, like mini-festivals, when each band only has time to play a few new songs and a few of the ones their audience knows... and the audience is mixed, some there for one band, some another. Yes, you're exposed to music that you might not otherwise have heard, but... there's something to be said for a hall full of fans, and a concentration of one performer's music. One opener, and the main act. But instead, it's five or six songs from one, and then off with his head and on to the next, and the next, and the next, until the evening's all gone. I'm really glad I saw The Red Paintings as part of a five-band tour, but next time... I hope it's a headline show, and a full concert, not just part of one.)

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