A Midwinter Night’s Dream with Henry Finch and The Capacity Ensemble, Brad Barr, Arc Iris, and Superhuman Happiness, and Ouxkzqlzn at the Black Box Theatre February 16, 2018   Leave a comment

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Zach and Superhuman Happiness in the atrium

I had a delightfully weird time seeing music a couple of weeks ago at the Black Box Theatre. There were a ton of cool shows happening that night, but his one seemed too odd not to check out.

I wandered downtown and found the path along Battery street and took it to the theater. I was a bit on the early side and they had the atrium open, but the theater was still closed. I sat on a bench at the edge of the room and listened as two of the guys from Superhuman Happiness played synths and Zach from Arc Iris sat at the piano and jammed for an hour or so. As the room slowly began to fill, masked mimes flooded in and plied us with tasty food. I got a drink and chatted with a bunch of cool people but was mostly lost in the endless playful musical jam. At one point, someone tapped Zach on the shoulder and grabbed part of the keyboard and began to play. Zach stepped away, and I think it was Henry Finch who was now playing the grand piano solo. The theater doors opened and a few people began pushing the piano, with Henry, into the main room. They pushed him to the front of the stage and the band joined in. The Capacity Ensemble. featured several singers, cello, clarinet, drums, and Henry on piano and began playing crazy fiery jazz. They played a song with a gypsy feel, then a rocker, then followed it with a tea ceremony song. A soulful bluesy rocker featured a lyric about say, say my name. They followed with a cool song with a huge piano sound then eased off for a bluesy rocker to end their set. It was really fun.

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Henry Finch and The Capacity Ensemble

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Henry Finch and The Capacity Ensemble

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Henry Finch and The Capacity Ensemble

I wandered around the dreamy room for a bit and watched people enter the tiny room where the giant head dispensed futures or advice or something. I wandered across the room, and in one of the corners, visible behind silk curtains, Ouzkxqlzn used a wrench to elicit weirdly beautiful noises from her guitar. She is so amazing.

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Ouzkxqlzn

After a bit, a hooded figure took the main stage and began singing and playing guitar. The people at the front of the stage sat in a semicircle which created a mini theater in the theater. Brad Barr began with a Jimmy Page standing on a mountain calling powerful forces vibe, then settled into a lovely countryish instrumental. He followed with a slow and moody song on electric guitar which encouraged us to close our eyes and take his hand. He followed with a really sweet song on acoustic and wrapped up on electric with a deep song about how death transforms us. It was a stunning set.

 

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Brad Barr

I zipped back to the corner for a bit and let Ouzkxqlzn’s music wash around me. I hung out for a bit before several of the evening’s hosts began moving the crowd back to the atrium. We hung out there until the doors opened with a slight reworking of the room. A sax and trumpet player lead us back in then Lee Anderson got up to speak about his love for our community. He then introduced Arc Iris, who set a cool tone as Jocie emerged from the box on the stage. They jammed out a heavy dancey set that had an almost industrial feel. Jocie wandered into the crowd for one beautiful dreamy song then they followed with one that had an electronic Mimi on the Beach vibe. They rocked out one more song then called it a night.

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Arc Iris

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Arc Iris

At some point the piano had been moved to the middle of the theater room. Zach moved from the stage and sat at the piano and began to play. He’s so talented, I could listen to him play forever.

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Zach

After he wrapped up, Superhuman Happiness kicked out some heavy dance grooves and kept the party going. Puppets wandered the room. People got into the roller ball and rolled around the room. Lots or people just danced to the beats and smiles were everywhere. At some point Brad and the Arc trio joined SH and locked into a fun jam. They played for a while then reconfigured back to the Superhuman duo.

I hung out for a while, but as it got late, I headed out the door. The walk home was lovely and my dreams that night weren’t anywhere near as fun as that dreamy show.

 

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Superhuman Happiness and friends

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