Oct. 15, 2013
Hula hoopers, an army of spangly belly dancers and some retro-ravers twirling glowsticks were in the audience, which surged like a sea to the rumbling synth beats, blaring horns and Bollywood violins unleashed by Cappel and guitarist-keyboardist David Satori.
On opening number "Overture" Jakes was bejeweled Mata Hari, shimmying to a Bollywood and Vine arrangement for drum, fiddle and LSD.
Though Beats Antique rock, their gigs are nothing like a rock 'n' roll concert. Inventive and meticulously planned, the show is a high-tech, virtual reality upgrade of Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Energetic and thought provoking, the Beats' set was based on their new LP A Thousand Faces - Act 1 which supposedly revolves around a hero's journey à la Gilgamesh on acid.
At another point, Jakes looked like a Finnish hunting goddess cum snow queen, sporting antlers, a Basilisk's stare and a wind-blown white dress that fluttered up her legs, recalling the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe atop a subway grate, her skirt billowing.
Jakes conveyed a lot through her series of masks and poses, sometimes balancing the sacred with the profane, but for her to affect some not-so-quick changes, Cappel and Satori vamped through several bludgeoning dance tracks like the guitar, bass and horn swagger of "The Approach" which was illustrated with projections of middle eastern sea monsters and mystic hands of fate.
Despite the glitz and knowing, humorous winks, the Beats were most effective when they dialed the showmanship down a notch. Hooded like an extra in Ingmar Bergman's "Seventh Seal," guest male vocalist and Sorne frontman Morgan Sorne perched before projections of ruined and smoking cities on "Kismat." Performing astounding wordless runs, his high falsetto echoed the legendary Edda Dell'Orso's work on classic Ennio Morricone soundtracks. Likewise, Jakes finest moment may have been her precise and fluid Balinese temple dance that accompanied the haunted chiming bells of "Pandora's Box."
Beat's Antique's rush for spectacle may have verged on overkill, a kind of Lion King for the alternative set. Yet at their best on Tuesday night, the Beats pried the lid off Pandora's mythic treasure chest, unleashing sex, glamor, mysticism, terror and satire. It was the subconscious popping out of a jewel encrusted jack-in-the box, the greatest show on earth.
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