As Light Pollution began their October 18th performance at The Rock and Roll Hotel with the swirling dream-like “Good Feelings”, I was pleasantly surprised at the transformation occurring before me. Singer, James Cicero, (who projected a welcoming, but low-key and slightly introverted persona when I interviewed him earlier) had morphed into an absorbing performer the moment the first note was struck. As he switched back and forth between his electric keyboard and guitar, Cicero’s eyes displayed an intensity which mixed both joy and a creative mania. Along with a tendency to quickly jut his arm up in an almost praise like manner, his performance was proving quite captivating to watch.
Cicero’s bewitching quality is clearly heard on Light Pollution’s album, Apparitions. Its songs blend a delightful mix of chillwave, shoegaze, and 60′s psych that recall feelings of an altered state. The album’s attractive combination of varying sounds and melodies reminded me of the sensation you get of mind and body really meshing together, similar to the feeling you might get after partaking in some type of substance.
Throughout their performance, Light Pollution’s energy did not waver once. Matthew Evert’s infectious drumming on songs such as Drunk Kids, was compelling to watch, showing that drummers can also display frontmen like qualities. His intriguing style came partly from his tendency to crouch over his drum set as a way to execute the fullest sound possible from it. The crowd and myself could not help but dance, which is quite the rarity to see at shows these days (at least in D.C.).
The addition of guitarist Nick Sherman has added layers and depth to their sound. Although he was hidden behind equipment for most of the show, he still put forth the same kinetic energy of his other three band mates. Light Pollution’s new bassist mixed in his own understated touch, which contrasted nicely with Cicero’s more extroverted style. Although their set was a a bit short, it was a pleasure to see a group of musicians cast aside the pretense of cool detachment often seen in bands, and genuinely let the rapture of their creativity shine through.
By: Stephanie Glass