The psychedelic frenzy of Beats Antique’s A Thousand Faces Fall Tour delighted the sold out crowd at the Paradise Rock Club. The trio’s ambitious performance blended elements of electronica, worldly dance, string quartet and live instrumentation with trippy visuals for a mind-blowing sensory overload.
With a restless crowd, Beats Antique took the darkened stage as member David Satori, dressed in a pinstripe suit, enticingly asked, “Do you want to go on a journey? Do you want to go to far, far away lands?” The crowd of gypsy skirts, animal masks and feather headdresses cheered their excited reply as the dark stage slowly illuminated and the percussion and electro string quartet track built into the first song “Overture” of their new album, A Thousand Faces: Act One. The trance-like cacophony of sounds accompanied by oscillating black and white visuals introduced the unique and spectacular audiovisual experience. The renowned belly dancer Zoe Jakes completed the trio as she came out for the oriental and seductive second track “Kismat,” adorned in gypsy garb and an ornate headdress. Her precise and alluring traditional belly dance was mirrored and multiplied in the visuals of the many arms of Vishnu behind her.
A purple haze consumed the stage for “You the Starry Eyed.” The electronic beats and rising tempo drums had Satori on the mixing board and also playing his violin, at some points even playing his guitar with his violin bow. Jakes came back onstage for “Charon’s Crossing” in a second elaborate belly dancing costume that, along with shrill xylophone beats, highlighted her every movement. The song found melody in the very end as Satori donned a huge wolf head and joined Jakes and the audience in dance. The spectacle momentarily became a jam session, allowing the amazed audience to groove before the creepy carnival melody of “Doors of Destiny” abruptly turned the show into a circus. Jakes emerged, assuming a burlesque persona as she mimed along with the narration and pulled an excited girl from the crowd. Jakes paraded her about the stage and involved her in a charade with a gigantic, stage-consuming inflated multi-headed monster. The music and lights pulsated as the blow-up monster billowed over the audience.
From the darkness, Satori’s voice once again asked, “Do you want to continue on this journey?” as the riled-up crowd swelled with cheers. The next rhythmic dance beat carried the crowd into the haunting melody of “Pandora’s Box,” where Jakes emerged in antlers adorned with chains and jewels. Dressed in a flowing white gown, she slinked across the stage staring into the crowd with huge cat eyes. An eerie blue light illuminated her gown as it billowed along with the hypnotic crescendos.
The audiovisual vortex of “The Approach” came next. The trance track has elements of brass band blues and jazz and featured entirely fan made visuals, a series of mask-like faces emerging endlessly from the mouth of the face before it, the fan art for the A Thousand Faces tour. The final face was a brilliant green serpent which morphed into the snake scale backdrop to the next track, “Viper’s Den.” Jakes reemerged, sporting a cobra costume and wriggling snakelike to the hypnotizing gypsy sounds of the song before metamorphosing into a bird behind giant feathered wings to deafening applause from the entranced crowd. The burlesque denoument of “Viper’s Den” transitioned spectacularly between the uniquely blended blues, jazz, electronic and eastern influences.
The recently released “Beezlebub” came next as the crowd went wild. The fast paced melodies of synthetic-sounding dub step blended with psychedelic rock and swelling eastern rhythms for a truly unique yet entirely danceable sound. Next, the Egyptian influenced sound of “Veil of Tears” had the whole audience clapping along as Jakes reemerged for a mind-blowing belly dancing performance that culminated in a series of mesmerizing spins.
With Satori on guitar and Tommy “Sidecar” Cappel on drums, the next jam set collaged uptempo percussion and guitar riff repetition with digital instrumentation and glitch before a face-melting solo battles between the pair. Satori shouted, “Boston, you are a bunch of freaks!” before the final explosion of violin, dance loops and dub step as a troupe of twisted psychedelic cheerleaders rallied the venue into a giant rave.
After deafening chants, the trio returned for an encore of the “old stuff.” The sub-bass reverberated through every fans’ feet and out of their ears as the strobe lights went wild in the head banging finish to the kaleidoscope spectacle of a Beats Antique performance.