Sad Lovers & Giants grace The Echoplex

The band impressed at their first Los Angeles show of their 36-year career.


Photo courtesy of Jacob Jaime

Brooks Ginnan, Writer

For the past 11 years, professor and radio DJ Michael Stock has run Part Time Punks. Held every Sunday night at The Echo on Sunset Boulevard, Part Time Punks has played a huge role in supporting not only local shoegaze, post-punk and synth pop artists, but many from around the world as well. On Sunday, March 27, the club hosted a trio of international artists — Sad Lovers & Giants from England, Vaadat Charigim from Israel and Nite Fields from Australia.

Difficult feat to accomplish

Due to The Echo selling out, the show moved to the larger Echoplex, and the venue steadily filled as Nite Fields kicked off the night. While initially presenting a heavily echoed and blurred sound with tracks like “You I Never Knew” from their debut “Depersonalization,” Nite Fields really came into their own when showing off a number of new songs. Frontman Danny Venzin put down his guitar and glided across the stage to the darker and electronic-tinged cuts, such as the recently released “Voyeur.”

The crowd was very receptive to the new material, and for good reason. More parts darkwave than dream pop, these songs showed a band assured and confident in its abilities. Even after leaving the stage, a longing for more Nite Fields set in the air — a difficult feat to accomplish.

The Tel Aviv-based Vaadat Charigim took the stage next. Vocals exclusively sung in Hebrew accentuated their bombastic shoegaze tendencies. Yuval Haring’s voice was unlike most shoegaze, which prefers to bury the vocals beneath washes of distortion and extreme volumes. It is a force to be reckoned with, soaring above the band’s celestial wall of sound.

A vintage triumph

Following Vaadat Charigim, much of the crowd pushed toward the stage for post-punk veterans Sad Lovers & Giants. Formed in 1980, the band has experienced an on-again, off-again history, releasing seven studio albums and a number of singles throughout their 36-year stint. Yet, the criminally underrated band, often brushed over in favor of their contemporaries, has never played the U.S. until this year, The Echoplex being their first show ever in Los Angeles.

It is a shame, as Sad Lovers & Giants preceded to put on a wonderful show. Although many of their beloved recordings date back over 30 years, the band sounded just as good, if not better, and the audience loved every minute of it. Something that has continually set the band apart from their peers has been the implementation of saxophone, and vocalist Garce Allard had his in tow for much of the set. This unorthodox instrument makes triumphant appearances on songs such as “50:50” and “Things We Never Did.” They even debuted a new song, along with the promise of an upcoming album, and the band was persuaded to play not one, but two encores.

As Sad Lovers & Giants left the stage, Michael Stock from Part Time Punks gave a gracious thanks to those still remaining. He expressed gratitude for the constant support that could move a show like this to a bigger venue, and even announced the return of darkwave pioneers Clan of Xymox for Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016.

In hindsight, it is shows like these which promise good music will live on in Los Angeles, or at the very least Echo Park.

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