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REVIEW: The Bright Light Social Hour sends out soundwaves of love to San Marcos

The Bright Light Social Hour live @ The Marc, San Marcos, TX Sept. 14, 2018
The Bright Light Social Hour live @ The Marc, San Marcos, TX Sept. 14, 2018
Photo By Shaun Haugen

The extremely talented musicians of the Bright Light Social Hour shared experimental sounds Friday night to a welcoming audience at the Marc.

The Austin-based Bright Light Social Hour played a rocking concert to a small but intimate crowd. The melodic, psychedelic, synth-rock band had a grunge style with long hair and neatly trimmed beards. The band had a commanding stage presence, which likely comes from playing over 400 shows and opening for Aerosmith.

The band opened with their latest single released this year, “Trip With Lola,” which centers around a girl who takes acid and becomes a frog.

“It’s about being a loner, and I guess frogs and humans can both be loners,” Curtis Roush, the Bright Light Social Hour guitarist said.

The rowdy crowd took in the dreamy melodies. By the end of the night, most of the audience had broken out into dance.

“It was lit,” Spencer Villareal, business senior, said. “The band was rocking and rolling.”

The music was exciting and energetic. The band played harmonic rhythms that created a sense of infinity in the music vibrating from their electrical instruments. One could get lost in the sounds echoing through the venue.

“We do a lot of afro-beat polyrhythms,” Edward Braillif, the Bright Light Social Hour keyboard player said.

The liberally explosive sounds and lyrics exhibited clarity under the intense repetition of rhythms.

The band blended hypnotic beats with high energy. They came across as very fluid and connected as a group.

Nicole Davis said she attended the concert because she thought the band offered a different experience than most other concerts.

“They were a super tight-knit band,” Davis said.

The Bright Light Social Hour also played two songs from their upcoming EP, Missing Something, which is set to release on Sept. 28.

An old song and fan favorite “Harder Out There” electrified the crowd. Overall the lyrics were about love, consciousness and existing on another plane of reality. It felt like entering a type of time capsule traveling light-years through space. The song “Dreamlove” was exponential in sound levels and rocked hard.

Overall, the music felt primal and exotic, exemplifying a list of influences from SunRa, Nigerian music, funk soul, Krautrock, Dream pop, shoegaze, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, electronic, techno and rhythms.

“We’re like a craftwork between if Pink Floyd and James Brown got stuck in an elevator,” Braillif said.

The band has been doing a lot of writing and small touring in the past three years since the release their last album, “Space Is Still the Place.” On Sept. 23 and Sept. 30, the band will be playing a concert at Cheer Up Charlies in Austin.


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