Levitation Room Lifts Off in Troy

A night after receiving a warm welcome at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, genre-bending psych rockers Levitation Room brought their cosmic vibes up the Thruway to Troy’s No Fun on Tuesday, May 14. Delivering a captivating performance that took listeners to the other side and carefully back, the gravity-defying band showcased exactly why they’ve emerged as one of the leaders of their genre. Playing mostly songs from the recently released album Strange Weather, the cool cats from California made a colorful impression that first-time listeners won’t soon forget.  

Kicking off the evening with Bob Forget of Schenectady’s The Abyssmals playing his first solo set, followed by a short, high energy set by the local rock trio Stroma, Levitation Room casually took the stage around 10pm. Getting their fingers loose with the technical and shifting rhythms of the opening instrumental “Pintura,” Levitation Room quickly found their groove with back-to-back bangers from their 2019 breakout album Headspace, “Warmth of the Sun” and “2025.”

“I wonder if I’ll be living
In the year 2025
You know my futures uncertain
I’m losing grip all the time”

Lyrics from 2025

Led by front man Julian Porte on vocals and guitar, alongside Gabriel Fernandez on guitar, Johnathan Martin on drums and Kevin Perez on bass, one look at this band and you could just tell they “weren’t from around here.” Casually dressed in retro threads, the music itself also sounded like a bit of a throwback. Blurring the lines of psych-rock, garage and surreal pop, every song felt catchy, like it could be a radio single, and it made you wonder why these guys aren’t more well known.

Levitation Room performing in Troy, NY 5-14-24.

Far from a “new band”, the East Lost Angeles quartet has been around for nearly a decade now. Carving out a niche in the psychedelic-rock realm and releasing three full length studio albums, it’s perhaps their harrowing experiences from the road that have earned Levitation Room the most publicity. Whether that be coming face-to-face with an alleged U.F.O. while passing through Arizona, or a terrifying incident in 2022 when members of the band were allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint, dosed with unknown hallucinogens, and robbed of all their equipment, Levitation Room has somehow soldiered on and continued making great music. Making their Troy debut on this Tuesday night, the band briefly paused to introduce themselves and invite the crowd of mostly twenty-somethings to come closer to the stage.

Levitation Room’s Julian Porte performing in Troy, NY 5-14-24.

After taking “Mr. Polydactyl Cat” for a walk around the block, Kevin Perez’s infectious bass lines on “Cool It, Baby,” were so mesmerizing and playful that it nearly overshadowed the songs’ more serious lyrical themes.  Such was also the case on the follow-up song “Grand Illusion (Expectations), where the far-out pop sound seemed to mask the existential questioning of Porte’s words.

Raise your glass, move your feet
Are you dead or asleep?
Talking heads on the screen
Keeps you stuck in the dream
Where the rat race is rigged
And the presidents picked
By the bankers who lend
All that money you spend

And I said cool it, baby

Lyrics from Cool It, Baby

Further captivating the audience by switching gears and showing off their tender side with a pair of love songs “Heaven,” and the well-received “Ooh Child,”  the waves of emotion swelled up like an ocean when Levitation Room uncorked what was perhaps the highlight of the set, an extended take on “Revelations,” a song about living in the moment, that saw the band firing on all cylinders and jumping around the stage, while guitarist Gabriel Fernandez navigated through a bevy of effects pedals during the song’s incendiary solo. It was refreshing to see the guys cutting loose, having fun and believing in what they were doing. 

Levitation Room performing in Troy, NY 5-14-24.

After reminding the audience to be weary of the CIA, FBI, and NSA keeping tabs on YOU during “The Other Side,” Levitation Room casually eased into their most well-known single, “Friends,” from their debut 2015 EP Minds of Our Own before the equally hypnotic and dreamy vibe of “Immoral Love” sent the entire room into a blissed-out trance.  Bathed in abstract visual projections and peering through a pair of old school 3-D glasses, the cool and steady hands of drummer Johnathan Martin mesmerized all evening long. Shifting tempos and playing up their strengths, “Loved” snapped the crowd out of it before the title track of “Strange Weather” brought the main portion of our sonic odyssey to a close. 

Watch fan shoot footage of Levitation Room performing “Reasons Why” in Troy, NY 5-14-24.

After walking off stage to an enthusiastic ovation, the band decided to treat the crowd to one more song, choosing “Reasons Why” as the lone encore of the evening, bringing the colorfully cathartic, rewarding and fun performance to a close.  Afterwards, the band could be found at the merch table taking selfies and signing records for the dozens of new fans they’d just won over.  No rest for the weary, Levitation Room would find themselves playing gigs in Canada less than 24 hours later. 

Taking place at No Fun in Troy, it’s easy to be fooled by the venue’s tongue-in-cheek name.  A beacon for Capital Region counterculture since opening their doors in December 2021, the heady, 200 person capacity club known for its DIY punk-rock atmosphere and excellent craft beer selection, No Fun has proven to consistently contradict itself.  Booking bands you won’t find anywhere else and holding events nearly every night of the week, it’s shows like Levitation Room on a Tuesday night that stand out as making the place truly special. That’s why when the venue suddenly announced it’s looking for a new owner and operator this week it, it sent shockwaves through the local music community. Claiming a “work life balance thing” as the reason with a listing of $149,000,  the current owner wants it to be clear, No Fun is NOT closing, but rather opening the doors of opportunity for someone with the same spirit and passion to take over.  Stay tuned to NYS Music as we will be sure to keep you up to date on this developing story.

Levitation Room | May 14th, 2024 | Troy, NY | No Fun

Setlist: Pintura, Warmth of the Sun, 2025, Mr. Polydactyl Cat, Cool It, Baby, Grand Illusion (Expectations), Heaven, Ooh Child, Revelations, The Other Side, Friends, Immortal Love, Loved, Strange Weather

Encore: Reasons Why


Bob Forget (of Abyssmals) | May 14th, 2024 | Troy, NY | No Fun | First Solo Set

Stroma | May 14th, 2024 | Troy, NY | No Fun


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