Despite this nagging cold (aka, post-sxsw hangover), last nights sold-out AD Presents show, at the Echo, was the kind of kick in the ass I needed to get me through to the weekend. Casey Dienel (performing solo as White Hinterland) opened the show, before Matthew Houck and company took the stage, bathed in warm feedback, with a looping vocal track repeating “hello Los Angeles, we’re Phosphorescent,” as the instruments swelled into a heady crescendo. The packed room was a din of noise before falling into silence as Houck strummed his vintage hollow-body guitar. With that, the show began.
For those of you who have not seen and/or heard Phosphorescent since 2005’s Aw Come, Aw Wry s (Houck’s final Athens LP prior to his move to Brooklyn), the differences in the new material (off Pride) and Houck’s overall stage presence are immediate. Gone are Aw Wry’s signature horns and additional instrumentation. In their stead Houck commands a tight, stripped down, four piece, working the material in an almost primal way that sways between delicate delivery and screaming exaltation. This is a live show that is not to be missed; it’s atmosphere and dynamics are only hinted at on the record.