With time, Portland’s The Helio Sequence have only gotten better. In the earlier days of their 16 year career, their balance of complicated drum and electronic textures and strong vocal and guitar lines made for a danceable but complex experience. But with Keep Your Eyes Ahead and the forthcoming Negotiations, due out September 11 via Sub Pop, Brandon Summers’ songwriting has become an emotionally captivating beast. Together with drummer and keyboardist Benjamin Weikel, the Helio Sequence are an incredibly strong live act.
Performing live at the Bumbershoot Music Lounge Sunday afternoon after an amazing set yesterday at the Sub Pop Stage, the northwest artists launched into the first three tracks off the new album showcasing their matured sound. For only two guys, it’s impressive how much sound they pack into their live show. Accompanied only by a laptop playing Weikel’s prerecorded keyboard parts, the duo creates enormous soundscapes for their truly captivating blend of indie-rock.
Benjamin Weikel might possibly be one of the most talented and most entertaining drummers in indie-rock. Moving like a poorly assembled robot and never without a huge grin on his face, Weikel made his complex rhythms seem effortless as he created incredibly intricate textures for Summers to play over.
Throwing in songs from their critically acclaimed 2008 album Keep Your Eyes Ahead,Summers and Weikel also spent plenty of time making fun of their Renton hotel room and of each other. “You’re a prima donna,” said Weikel after Summers made a comment about the stage clock being off time, to which Summers replied “This is why I don’t give him a microphone.” All this to show, The Helio Sequence are equal parts relatable and delightful, and their performance this afternoon was a testament to that.
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