Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 15:38

Concert review and set list: Phosphorescent (with Caveman) rewards fans with a dazzling show at the Firebird, Monday, January 27

Phosphorescent at the Firebird Phosphorescent at the Firebird Kate McDaniel
Written by Janet Noe Rhoads
Rate this item
(2 votes)

phos·pho·res·cent adjective \-sənt\ : of or relating to a type of light that glows softly in the dark and that does not produce heat. Wrong, Merriam-Webster. In this case, there was plenty of heat.

Polar vortex be damned! Ticketholders of a Caveman/Phosphorescent lineup wouldn't let a little thing like frigid air stop them. They would, however, stay in their heated cars for 40 minutes rather than stake a claim in line outside Firebird. Tour bus issues and, I hear tell, some sort of equipment malfunction kept the doors from opening at the designated time and pushed the start of the show back by a half hour.

Starting a show so late can be an awkward thing to navigate because you know you are facing a crowd that might be just a skosh grumpy and, in this case, frozen. But an opening band's purpose is to warm up a crowd, and Caveman came to build a fire. Our blood thawed and the band got our hearts pumping to the steady rhythm of its captivating drumbeats. The passionate, percussive delivery of "Where's the Time" was where its set really shot off sparks and burned on through the final song.

Prior to Phosphorescent claiming the stage, part of the crew began bedecking the space with faux white flowers and real white candles as well as some pretty potent incense. Thanks to that and the gal in front of me who'd obviously just eaten, all of Firebird smelled like Nag Champa and everything bagels.

The stage darkened and the pre-recorded "Sun Arises (An Invocation/An Introduction)" began to play. It wasn't until later in the set that I really realized the appropriateness of this title as a beginning for the set of songs on the 2013 album "Muchacho" and for a performance that was both radiant and spiritual. That said, I must admit that when Matthew Houck came onstage in a simple T-shirt and jeans I was a tad disappointed. I was hoping for the snow white, bedazzled cowboy suit I've seen pictures of him wearing on this tour.

It didn't matter really. He could sing in a clown onesie, cutoffs or a three piece Armani and fill a room with the same presence and command. Suit or no, Houck is a cowboy sage. He paces the stage with a mike chord slung over a shoulder, pointing a finger or lifting a palm to strengthen a detail, growling and yipping, raspy voice phrasing his emotions masterfully and ministering through song. I do not mean in a religious or even secular sort of way. Phosphorescent songs have less to do with God, though that unknowable presence makes itself known from time to time, and more to do with the trials and tribulations of being human. I'm sure Houck is just as screwed up as the rest of us mere mortals; however, he's sucked a little more wisdom out of the marrow of life than most.

The set was weighted with songs from the latest album, and of course the ballad that put all other 2013 songs to shame, "Song For Zula," made an appearance. For this listener, the true standouts were two older songs, both from 2007's "Pride" and both played sans band, back to back, with Houck on guitar center stage. "My Dove, My Lamb" was gutting, sensual and sweet. The singer had the juju to entrance a jam-packed Firebird crowd into the quietest audience, for the longest amount of time, I have ever witnessed. It was magic.

The spell he cast grew in strength with "Wolves," which was brought to completion with a looping segment of Houck repeating the final line, "to wait 'til those wolves make nice." The line layered upon itself sweetly at first and then, through Houck's manipulations, grew more ferocious; it became howling, growling and menacing.

To cap off the encore, the band returned and turned the two-minute "At Death, A Proclamation" into an extended jam session. I tell you, it's serious business when one man is shaking five maracas at a time. The band blew it up, one last blast of warmth before we all had to head back out into the glacial night.

Set list:

Sun, Arise! (An Invocation, An Introduction) - pre-recorded
The Quotidian Beasts
Terror in the Canyons
Down to Go
A Picture of Our Torn up Praise
Tell Me Baby (Have You Had Enough)
Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly)
Song for Zula
Ride On/Right On
Muchacho's Tune

Encore:
My Dove, My Lamb
Wolves
Joe Tex, These Taming Blues
At Death, A Proclamation

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

Graham Pagano

Mon June 23
Graham Pagano's debut album Quit Complaining is a high charged mix of old and new music. his old blues and classic country feel blended up with a rock and roll attitude makes this stripped down album explode…

88.1 KDHX Shows

m-guitar.jpg

KDHX Recommends

July
Saturday
26

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014 Harvest Sessions welcomes Genevieve -- featuring Rebecca Ryan and Leslie Sanazaro -- to the West Pool Pavilion for a morning of acoustic music. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers'...


July
Sunday
27

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars 88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars for a family matinee Sunday, July 27 at Noon. Kids under two are free. $8 advance tickets on sale now. Tickets available at the door for $10. Kids under two are free. For...


July
Thursday
31

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys KDHX presents Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys at The Stage, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets available online.   Born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri, Folk remembers watching his Dad pick the country blues on a...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

9 users and 11089 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook