Last Night: Talibam! at University of California, Irvine

Kevin Shea works up a sweat
Kevin Shea works up a sweat
Gray Beltran

The Show: The Talibam! duo of Matt Mottel and Kevin Shea began their set sporting big white-framed sunglasses and wigs dyed hot pink and ruby red, respectively. Instead of playing his usual keyboard, Mottel opted instead to try out the Fender Rhodes left over from the opening band. As Mottel hammered out distorted melodies on the electric piano, drummer Kevin Shea provided frenzied yet intricate rhythms. Shea pounded so vigorously that his ride symbol flew off the drum kit on several occasions.

The band paused a few times between songs--mostly when they needed a break from their intense, physical playing--but for the most part the duo progressed through the set nonstop, letting melody and noise bleed from one arrangement to the next. The dueling vocals between Mottel and Shea, shouted to be heard over their instruments, added another layer to the band's heavily textured sound.

Sex Worker and UC Irvine regulars Sprawl Out opened.

The Crowd: Thanks to the intermittent rain likely deterring some from attending, the gathering of mostly college students was smaller than at most UC Irvine shows. But those dedicated music fans that did attend were clearly engrossed in the lush noise that Talibam! created. At one point, someone even started playing air electric piano.

Overheard: "How was I supposed to know that UCI had a pub?" asked the bassist for Sprawl Out.


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