With all the whistles and screams for “Hanni!” you’d have thought he was headlining this final show with the Black Angels. Los Angeles musician Hanni El Khatib brought a load of intense, bluesy rock music onstage. Unfortunately, he did encounter some technical difficulties, causing the vocals to be repeatedly crushed out and a few bouts of unpleasant feedback. Although he started strong with “Nobody Move” and “Penny,” the crowd needed some motivation to dance– El Khatib worked tirelessly to get them to groove. He continued to deliver his marvelous noise with a charming sense of recklessness, clearly wearing his own dancing shoes. Wrapping things up with perfectly with “In My Veins” and “Loved One,” he successfully worked the crowd into a frenzy, reminding them why they were cheering for him in the first place.
Surreal kaleidoscopic projections transported the audience to a place where audio melts into visual as The Black Angels were graciously welcomed to the stage. People immediately began swaying their hips. The transition was like waiting for drugs to kick in. Initially, the throwback acid rock was pleasantly jagged and hypnotic. But a dozen songs ultimately felt like one, due to a serious lack of variety in BPM and an indecipherable mish-mash of lyrics for half of the set. Laying in the grass at a mellow music festival would have been more appropriate, or at least laying in the comfort a living room, enjoying it all on vinyl and some blasting speakers. That being said, the encore was by far the best part of the set, delivering the most aural uniqueness and vocal clarity of songs. The audience offered tons of cheers as well as fluid, sensual and rhythmic dancing, closing the night with a standing ovation. The audience was obviously feeling it after a groovy night with Hanni El Khatib and The Black Angels.