Last Friday, May 13th, the Live Music Capital of the World was given a heavy serving of nutrient-dense healing in the form of live music at the Parish’s new location in downtown Austin. Previously The North Door, the storied venue reopened last month and has been back to its regularly scheduled programming of musically dosing the city with a seasoned variety of tasteful and talented artists from all spectrums of the sonic motherboard. Skillfully revamped for optimal entertainment and enjoyment purposes, it was clear upon entering this historic Austin building that the scene and feel for the night’s billing were going to be quite satisfactory.
First up was four-piece The Iceman Special, a group from the swamps of Louisiana who now call New Orleans their humble abode. This eccentric outfit breaks the bounds when it comes to sticking to a genre, as they span a delightful slew of songs ranging from psych & prog rock, funk, reggae, new wave, and everything in between. The tunes are infectious as each member of the band brings fullness to their playing and presence on stage. The greatest thing about seeing The Iceman Special is that you never know what you’re going to get next – the expansive catalog of sounds finds a way to suit everyone in the crowd, no matter their preferences. As the groove shapeshifts from heavy rock all the way to disco, you can also sense a homage to home with an underlayer tribute in the form of zydeco. Attendees gladly welcomed The Iceman Special’s label-defying sounds with happy hearts.
Next up from the depths of the funky undercurrent in the deep seas of groove, came the reason for the sea-son, Viben & The Submersibles. Viben brings a new caveat of the funk we know and love by way of their swimmingly delectable “scuba funk”. The welcome addition of high-powered lasers and fog machines coupled with the ginormous disco ball and newly-stocked lighting package at the venue created quite the under-the-sea atmosphere, especially when crowd members whipped out bubble guns for even more on-brand production.
Melodic grooves with uptempo drum and bass cuts fused with deep-laced saxophone licks and percussion perfection, lovingly layered with sincere yet jaunty lyrics produce a fun-loving anemone of sorts for attendees to embrace in sound waves of pinks, purples, and blues. The band welcomed back Abou Sylla, master percussionist in West African drum and dance, celebrated new dad, Dakota Colby’s return, and had friend Momin “Mo” Ahmad from the Texas String Assembly join in on the bass guitar. After finally catching Viben for the first time, it is apparent that this scuba squad is downcutting the powerful aquatic forces of the funk to bring an original sound to the thirsty masses.
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All photos by Alex Parker Media, unless otherwise specified.