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Listening to Pelicanesis’ self-titled EP is a narrative journey in itself, but when the group was armed and ready on stage, it was like leaving the planet. As the sci-fi psychedelic keys and heavy guitar riffs rose, so did the captivated audience. Because they were ready to, according to spaceman guitarist/bassist/vocalist Ivan Christo, “enter many holes.”
Set outside in the snug back patio of The Juggling Gypsy, the quartet and their visuals comrade Chris Hughes began their space rock opera. Pelicanesis opened with new songs like “Drifter,” a 1980s orgy of keys and electronica, and “Black Holes,” which is a blastoff anthem that soars through the galaxies and is fueled by the percussion of drummer Casey Flanagan. As they carried on, Pelicanesis displayed their vast influences – psychedelic dub, heavy blues and space metal, carefully spiced up with synthetic elements. Everyone was dancing and rejoicing over the band’s stories of Earth’s total destruction, robot tyrants and brave spacemen who possessed the courage of mighty space lions.
When the epic “King on His Horse” began, the audience slowed their pace and absorbed the crooning melancholy vocals of guitarist/keyboardist Josh Ariel. The storytelling of Pelicanesis is unparalleled, and when performed live, it becomes far more real and tangible as each member immerses themselves to become a character in their own tale. When it came time for them to perform “Lazer Arm,” guitarist/keyboardist Patrick Fitzgerald fired up the opening notes and soon enough, Christo and the crowd could sing the catchy chorus: “Lazer Arm/Whatcha going to do?/There’s a robot army after you!” Before being shut down by the cops from neighborhood noise complaints (it was that loud and amazing), Pelicanesis ended the night with “Robotic People” and said farewell to their loyal space companions. And they were off. Off to continue their journey into space and more sonic live shows.