This was an enjoyable evening of weirdly-structured psychedelic music from AMT who featured dual guitarists, spacey electronic sounds from a small Roland board - not a keyboard - but something with slides and dials, a theremin and a bassist who sometimes played clarinet into a mic that was controlled by the wizard (you'll see) on the Roland board. Matter of fact, the wizard may have been controlling more than that mic. The drummer kept it all from flying apart into a cacophony of discordant noise.
Sometimes a song began with everyone playing their own thing until one riff stood out and the others joined. Other songs started with one instrument repeating a phrase while others slowly added layers until the whole thing was a wall of sound, increasing in speed and intensity. Most of the songs were in the 10 minute range and sometimes one wasn't sure where one ended and another began.
There were vocals sometimes but I couldn't say what the words were. The bassist did most of the singing, though vocalizing would be a better description.
The Prophet Bar is in Deep Ellum on Elm Street in Dallas. It's a tiny venue, long and narrow. Not many people made it out to the show, approximately 50 of us took in the spectacle. The five players packed the stage but not so tight as the six guys from the Phantom Family Halo who kicked off the evening. Those boys hailed from NYC. I hadn't heard of them before the day of the show but did find some videos on the 'tubes. Good stuff, psychedelic rock of a different variety. As stated, they were a six-man act, two guitars, one the vocalist (yes they had actual words and stuff) a bassist (poor bastard was jammed to the side, back to the wall), drummer, second drummer/percussionist, and keyboard/sax guy. Point of reference, they reminded me of the Black Angels. PFH played a short, compact set. I think the singer was perturbed that everyone sat, "So is that what you do in Dallas? Just sit around?" So after the first song my son and I walked up and stood directly in front of the stage for the rest of the show. But we were the only people who did and since we're not hot chicks I doubt the guy was too stoked about it.
The people did come forward when the AMT set began. Again, I stood directly before the small stage. Not surprisingly, it was a mostly a guy crowd. It ranged from a few 20-something hipster types to the 40+ dudes such as myself, some wearing Rush tees if that paints a picture for you. I generally kept eyes forward and took in the show and noticed that most did the same, our heads bobbing, absorbing the sound. The fellow to my left though appeared to be having the most fun of all. In his own world he danced a strange dance. Sometimes he appeared to face off an unseen foe, legs apart, knees bent, slightly crouched, palms turned up, arms half spread and moving back and forth. Then he'd turn the palms over and try to push the imaginary dough back into the five foot imaginary cylinder, it looked like hard work and he did it the entire show. (Must have burned 500 calories, ha!) But it got me thinking, if you were gonna partake of something from the psychedelic family of pharmaceuticals, this would have been the time to do it.Update
I stumbled across a tour blog
by William Benton, guitarist for the Phantom Family Halo. Turns out he's a fellow Okie. I approached him after their set, while he was behind the merch table. Told him I enjoyed their set and that it was too bad there we so few people, but it was likely due to the arts festival and the tons of bands playing for free down the street outdoors. He seemed like a friendly sort. Wish I'd have known he was an Okie then. Good luck on the tour, William!