Kylesa

Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shots

Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shots
Photo by Shelley Hiam

Kylesa

Waterloo Park, Nov. 7

Laura Pleasants is a badass. While her Kylesa co-leader Phillip Cope sports Southern trucker garb and hollers through echo effects in Grand Canyon modulations, Pleasants bellows hard as her tight Black Flag T-shirt and gold Les Paul. Bassist Corey Barhorst smiled through his longhair headbanging, and double drummers did the Allman Brothers. Kylesa's brand-new fifth LP, Spiral Shadow, bottles the metallic Savannah, Ga., quintet better than its hammer and anvil beginnings and recent Jane's Addiction jams (2009's Static Tensions), and when its heavy lumber lifted off into a tsunami of Pleasants' chain-reaction leads, the effect was breathtaking. For one curious preteen in the hot sun of the Black stage – all metal on Sunday, from the kickoff Lizzyisms of Austin's Eagle Claw to Mastodon's intimate closing opposite FFFF headliners the Descendents – spontaneous convulsions equal music festival manna. Pleasants' vocal hurt and into-the-void string-ups evoked the do-or-die embodiment of High on Fire's Matt Pike, spotted bellying up to the bar around noon and later watching Peelander-Z. (His new warhorse "Snakes for the Divine" proved a slaughterhouse walk-off on the Black stage hours later.) Leading one pillaging new epic second to last in the set, Pleasants surfed the band to a career high. That came just prior to a drum circle breaking out onstage, Barhorst beating a tom then tickling a keyboard, and Kylesa's identity crisis emerging into the full light of day.

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