On Tuesday, April 16, the Beachland Ballroom will welcome The Black Angels, Elephant Stone, and Allah-Las for an evening of psychedelic tunes.
These three bands present music that breaks genre barriers with smooth, faraway, and culture-influenced music. To point out how cohesive the three groups are together, Elephant Stone singer/bassist/sitarist Rishi Dhir humorously said, “The Black Angels are truly like family to me. Allah-Las are kind of like our stone beach-bum cousins.”
The dark and slightly menacing music of the headlining band, The Black Angels, is not only appropriate for their namesake, but also strangely enchanting. Influenced by bands like The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Joy Division, The Black Angels brings a sound that at first seems out of its time, incorporating new styles that bridge old-school rock-and-roll with striking electronic undertones.
Allah-Las also brings a reminiscent sound to the stage with their more beachy, distant rock feel. Their steady guitar riffing and tribal drumming exemplified with their song “Busman’s Holiday” sneaks styles from the 1960’s back into the modern scene.
Dhir labels his band’s sound as “Hindie-Rock” and the title could not be more appropriate for Elephant Stone. The band’s strange combination of rock, alternative, and Indian music is easily distinguishable from other styles. The name “Elephant Stone” was chosen as a tribute to The Stone Roses, one of the most influential bands to their sound.
The Black Angels, Allah-Las, and Elephant Stone are all unified by their retro style that seems to be coming back in today’s music fringe. The Black Angels and Allah-Las certainly defy musical norms, but Elephant Stone takes the biggest step away from the average and towards the foreign and the fascinating.
Their debut Polaris Prize-nominated album, “The Seven Seas,” is one of the band’s greatest accomplishments. Elephant Stone has also gained recent recognition from performances along their current tour.
“Also, my mom has told me she likes the band… that’s pretty high praise,” said Dhir.
Dhir started the band as a solo project after leaving his old group, the High Dials. For a couple of years now, Elephant Stone’s members have been working together on creating its groovy style. Elephant Stone was able to perform with The Black Angels because of a long-time friendship, according to Dhir.
“I’ve been friends with The Black Angels since before they started the band. It just worked out that their album was being released around the same time as ours,” he said. “It was true serendipity.”
Elephant Stone is on an exciting road that is sure to bring the band more recognition. “The band seems to evolve with every new song. I think the most important influence on our progression is playing live – it helps give a better sense of what works and what doesn’t,” said Dhir.
Dhir’s sitar playing has especially garnered attention, since it is what gives Elephant Stone an extra Indian flare to all of its British-pop styled music.
With inspiration stemming from The Beatles, Blur, Stone Roses, and Motown, Dhir’s group reaps its original style from a combination of countless inspirations. “I’m an avid music fan, so I’m always absorbing new music,” noted Dhir.
Supporting The Black Angels along with Allah-Las, Elephant Stone is not just a typical opening band to impatiently ignore before the headliner of the show. Already on the rise, Elephant Stone shows a retro promise that most modern bands could never muster and a passion for music that is undeniable.
Dhir knows that creating music is his calling. “It’s my life source.”
The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and costs just $15 for general admission.