It was a night of pure psychedelic/prog rock heaven at The Hollow in Albany on Saturday, March 18 as the musical explorations of Ampevene, Felix Martin and NYC-based headliner Consider the Source took the stage to an enthusiastic crowd of the band’s faithful fans.
First to take the stage was Ampevene, a locally based quartet founded by guitarist Gabe Stallman. The band’s roster includes Mack Hogan on bass, Darryl Kniffen on drums/percussion, and Ava Smith on keyboards. Their sound is a self-described eclectic mix of free form frenzy, jagged riffs, and hypnotic rhythms. Ampevene was formed in 2013 and since it’s inception has played Albany’s coveted Lark Street festival in 2015. They also have produced three EPs, the latest of which is entitled Rometheu which the band chose as the opener for the show. It was one of the only times throughout the night they blended lyrics with the incredible instrumental skills of the band. One of the high points of the hour long set in my opinion was the use of imaginative sounds that were crafted by talented keyboardist Ava Smith. They provided a beautiful sonic layer that enhanced the psychedelic musical experience that Ampevene created early in the evening.
After a brief break in the action the musical journey continued with the talent of Venezuelan guitarist Felix Martin whose claim to fame is being able to simultaneously play two guitars at once. His website describes his amazing skill in this way, “Felix uses his self-designed 14 and 16-string guitars, which are two regular guitars in one, in a way never seen or heard before.” Felix and his band which is comprised of bassist Killian Duarte and drummer Victor Carracedo are currently wrapping up their 10 date tour with Consider The Source while promoting their newly released album Mechanical Nations.
Felix and his band started their show with “Carnat,” which showcased the slap style guitar playing Felix is renowned for on an instrument that looks like it was cooked up in Frankenstein’s lab. Two separate guitars attached together at the neck in a most unnatural way, but yet yields wondrous results at the hands of guitar virtuoso Martin. Up next was newly released “Bom,” which illustrated how tight the band plays as an ensemble ever pleasing the crowd with it’s upbeat hypnotic tempo. Midway through the show bassist Killian Duarte aptly stated to the energized audience “Let’s keep things heavy and proggy” and they did not disappoint. The tone of the show was aggressive with the three piece creating a wall of sound that was reminiscent to Primus, featuring lots of chest cavity pumping bass with head bouncing percussion.