Posted by: Necci – Jun 18, 2012
One of the greatest things about living in Richmond has always been our amazing, unique local music scene, which features a level of creative activity that one might more reasonably expect in a city four times the size of RVA. The Summer Solstice Power Jam is a great example of that fact--a gig thrown inside of an abandoned power station on Belle Isle, in which no one can use any sort of electrical instruments because ironically, there's no power available anywhere inside the power station. The third annual Summer Solstice Power Jam took place this past weekend, on a lovely Saturday afternoon on which I was unfortunately stuck at work. Fortunately, though, local videographer Silver Persinger, who has been a stalwart documentarian of the local scene over the past several years, was able to make it to the show and capture some of the unique goings-on that occurred.
Bermuda Triangles in particular did a set that captured my attention--unlike a lot of groups, who shy away from using drums in an unamplified setting due to how loud they are, Bermuda Triangles instead chose to embrace the power of percussion. Not only did their drummer, Tony Lynch, play a drum kit (with some bongos added on), bassist Bill Porter and singer/keyboardist Jason Hodges traded in their usual instruments for small drum kits as well. Sax player Sean Cassidy retained his saxophone but also played something that looks like a xylophone at first but turns out to be a bunch of what look like loose tubular bells from a windchime. And this isn't just a big clattering cacaophony, either--they're playing real Bermuda Triangles songs, rearranged for an almost entirely percussion-based lineup. I'm not entirely sure what songs they're playing throughout the set, but they do a clearly recognizable version of "R For Real," from their new album Transmissions, halfway through the set, and I'm pretty sure I heard snatches of the title track from their first album, Reptilian Intervention, at some point. The overall effect is mindblowing (as the MC who introduces them promised), and calls to mind the sound of gamelan, a traditional Indonesian style of music featuring large percussion ensembles. The Triangles have expressed interest in incorporating this percussion-heavy vibe into their songwriting in the future, and based on the evidence presented here, we can look forward to some pretty intense results from that. But for now, enjoy the video, and check out Silver's page for more footage from the Third Annual Summer Solstice Power Jam.
By Andrew Necci