Washed Out @ The Neptune 05.02.12

May 1, 2012
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Tonight was not Washed Out's debut at The Neptune theater. In fact, they were here just last year. And in all honesty, despite a killer record out via local label Sub Pop, and a fantastically melancholy set at Sasquatch last year, the set left much to long for. Much of it had to do with the lack of atmosphere brought on by the over excited light designer who decided to use every color, and every light al at once, and the other part was the bands attempt at translating their tracks from a downtempo album to a party atmosphere, and in all honesty it just didn't translate.

So walking in tonight, the expectations weren't low, but they certainly weren't high either. However, everything changed within minutes of stepping in. Out of the gate the band had noticeably shed a member, allowing for a sleek stage set up, boasting a straight line of keys and controllers to the front of the stage. LED towers lined the group from behind and their ability to embrace the darkness around them while allowing for slight illumination cultivated not only an appropriate, but a perfect atmosphere.

The setlist weighed heavily on 2011's Within and Without, and the tracks sounded fantastic. Staying true to the album, with added flourishes of arpeggios, embellished drums, and lively vocals. Stand out's not only included Eyes Be Closed, but the initially rarely played Amor Fati. (Personal favorite, Soft provided quite the dance breakdown early on). The packed Neptune responded with appropriate lulled excitement, as wrapped up in the atmosphere as the performance itself. Proving it isn't always about stage antics when you're trying to win over a crowd, but what you can do with an all too short timeslot to win over the emotions of everyone.