WORDS BY ASHLEY EVERS, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
PHOTOS BY GEORDON WOLLNER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
The frigid fall air in Madison was enough to get fans to huddle inside the Majestic Theater early on a Thursday night — early enough for the openers (@shormey and @divinonino have joined Crumb on the road— never miss them if they come your way). Patrons packed each level of the venue eager to catch the quartet’s first show in Madison after two years. At long last, Crumb had arrived.
Lila Ramani (guitar and lead vocals), Jesse Brotter (bass), Brian Aronow (synth, keys and sax) and Jonathan Gilad (drums) collectively bring together a harmonious blend of psych-rock and jazz, through dizzying rhythms and dreamy vocals which are meant to be analyzed and unraveled. Captivating messages hidden within each track and ’90s lounge-esque beats made for a performance that involved much more than just music that is meant to be heard, but rather experienced.
The four twentysomethings coolly walked onto the stage before breaking into the hazy intro of “Cracking,” serenely opening the night with light horns under Ramani’s cool murmurs. She states, “this song is about a curse,” before seamlessly transitioning into “Jinx,” the title track from the group’s latest project released in June.
Ramani seemed to hover above us, dominating the stage with her haunting vocals. Aronow stepped away from his synthesizer to hypnotize the room with his alto- saxophone during a solo executed with such focus and passion, we were beside ourselves. The group’s ability to adapt to a crowd with ease was evident as adjustments were made when necessary, with smooth transitions and short commentary.
The middle of the night seemed to still as “M.R.” slowed things down, but the warped jazz instrumental quickly introduced a magnetic pulse that initiated a lengthy progression, establishing the mood for the rest of the evening. Ramani held a single red heart-shaped balloon, along with three star-shaped balloons, as metaphorical props before “Part III.” After bringing out a pair of scissors from backstage, she cut a single string, letting the heart balloon soar towards the ceiling as fans swayed with closed eyes, lost in the groovy outro.
The encore began with “So Tired” off their self-titled EP (released in 2016) which retrospectively had ultimately propelled the band into their now-success. Members of accompanying group Divino Niño strutted across stage with bright eyes and cheeky grins, playing various handheld percussion instruments as they dance along.
At the end of the night, we departed from the haunting performance feeling energized and cleansed after being put under Crumb’s spell.
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