Les Savy Fav + The Big Sleep at Bowery Ballroom

Post Author: Jeremy Krinsley

The show was a benefit concert for, as French Kiss puts it, a “near and dear friend who has been doing publicity for the label since day one!” I think the guy has some terrible disease, but I never knew what it was, and the interwebs aren’t talking. Anyway, the place wasn’t sold out but it was certainly well-stocked, so hopefully it’ll help.

The Big Sleep is always referred to as psych, but they had a lot of that 70’s metal feel to them live, largely due to the taut energy that kept bassist/keyboardist Sonya Balchandani literally balancing on her toes and heavy, repetitive guitar riffs, well-orchestrated by bombastic Danny Barria. I think someone in the band likes Led Zeppelin. (Who in the band wouldn’t like Led Zeppelin?)

They’re married.

Les Savy Fav were characteristically on top of their game, and with only a week’s warning to practice and pull it off (says guitarist Seth Jabour), they played a new song that featured a dancey bass line and tastefully sparse guitar parts.

I don’t know whether it’s a constant game or a struggle for frontman Tim Harrington to innovate ways to startle, seduce (so to speak) and gross out his audience. Tonight he was feeling homoerotic. And also a little Cherokee. (“I found out I’m 1/32 Native American.”)

He pulled a willing stranger from the crowd and whisper-screamed into his ear for about four riffs, after which said fan gleefully dropped to his haunches, and pony riding ensued (it was Native American themed, get it?)

Ritual blowjob ceremony.

You get the point.

Yet despite all his shock and awe, the truth came to me: Mr. Harrington’s stage persona is all one cleverly devised attempt to conceal his true identity, a creepy extra in a gloomy Dostoevsky novel.