The last time I’d seen L.A. band Darker My Love, they – or, rather Tim Presley and Rob Barbato – were filling a couple of gaping holes that had been left in the Fall by members who’d suddenly quit mid-tour. Admittedly, that 2006 show had been awfully draining.
But Darker My Love, on their own, have got really fabulous style and grace on stage, charging this mesh of brooding rock and mod jams through long, long tunnels. On record they can be a bit predictable, even poppy, but the flow is so much darker and smoother (sure, coffee, why not?) on stage.
A touch more entertaining, though, were this show’s openers, the Lumerians, whose 80 percent instrumental, psychedelic freakout made me reconsider the idea of L.A. psych rock as stale – truly, kids, they provided an experience complete with visuals, hair and endless wow, with a vinyl album solid enough to match.
And of course, slightly more concise rockers the Soft Pack (formerly the Muslims) improved upon “American” with an unexpectedly punk touch of sloppiness and greater growl from Matt Lamkin, who’d not long before greeted all with a quick, “Hi, we’re the Soft Pack. Or something.”