There are very few bands that I know of that could put on as energetic of a show as a 3 piece. There also fewer bands I know of that could pull off a 2 piece. Both Elephant Gym and Vasudeva pull of both of these feats off splendidly in a packed room at the Mercury Lounge on a Sunday night two weeks ago. Between the high octane energy and the great banter, I left the show in good spirits and hopeful for where some underground music is headed.
I first found out about Elephant Gym through YouTube’s algorithm. I think it started with me listening to Ryo Fukui along with being recommended This Town Needs Guns. YouTube worked it’s magic and showed me an artist that was sort of the merging of these two artists. Jazzy, but with Math Rock sensibilities with a dash of funk. Once the US Tour tickets went live, I knew I had to be there.
The opening act, Vasudeva, is a rock band from New Jersey. For this show, they didn’t have their drummer, so they ran it as a two piece where one member played guitar, and the other did a mix of guitar and piano. The set itself was ran primarily through Logic Pro to provide the extra instrumentation, but even as a 2 piece, they sounded so solid. They really made me a fan after that show. I’d hear their music in passing, but never pursued it. This time around, I’m definitely looking to more shows that they’re billed on.
When Elephant Gym took the stage, KT immediately took a deep gulp of her beer and they began their warm ups. From there, they tore into their first few songs with great success. There was something so magical about watching the music come together live. From KT’s lively and energetic bass playing, to Tell Chang’s guitar playing that just added so much sonic color to the songs. Chia Chin-Tu’s drum work was also a sight to behold. His sense of rhythm is impeccable and he truly seemed like he barely broke a sweat when playing.
Even though they were touring their most recent release, Underwater, which you can check out here, they still pulled songs as far back as their first EP “Work” like “Spring Rain”. What really impressed me about the group is how close the songs sound like the records. Even the extra effects and such were on point and sounded just like the record. And they sounded HUGE for a 3 piece.
KT’s banter with the crowd was fantastic and you could really tell this band was in their own category in terms of musicianship. If anyone ever gets a chance to, you owe it to yourself to check out this band live. They’re an absolute treat. My buddy Mike and I were fortunate to meet them after the show and they kind enough to sign our records and talk to us for a couple of minutes. If they’re at a town near you, go see them!
Photos shot and edited by Mike Telewiak