Allah-Las Take Fans on a Psych-Surf Trip at Wonder Ballroom in Portland, OR (SHOW REVIEW)

Allah-Las played a sold out show at Portland’s Wonder Ballroom on Saturday, December 7th. The psych-folk-surf rock band from LA are touring on their newest album Lahs, a reference to a common misspelling of their name. Often considered revivalists, Allah-Las play rock music that is clearly rooted in 60’s psychedelia with surf-rock elements and a folky background. Their latest album feels like the best example yet of this type of revival and shows they are more comfortable than ever embracing their psych-folk sound. 

Early in the first set they played “Tell Me” from their first LP Allah-Las. One of their best known songs it was definitely a crowd pleaser and brought the energy to the right place. On “In The Air”, from the newest album, the band played like a tightly wound ball of string unraveling with psychedelic riffs; spinning, looping, spilling onto the stage. On “Prazer Em Te Conhecer,” another from the newest album, we were treated to drummer Matt Correia singing in Portuguese on a song that feels like a tense battle between pop and somber indie rock. Around this time, the band found space to get into some instrumental jamming and really cut loose, no singing just feeding and playing off each other in true psychedelic fashion. Late in the set we heard “Could Be You” from their third LP Calico Review, an album and song that explored the more playful side of their music. The encore saw what is perhaps their most popular song,”Catamaran,” another great one from their debut self-titled album Allah-Las that compares finding love to diving for a pearl.

Allah-Las are one of the more exciting and fun live bands out there right now. Their psychedelia isn’t overwhelming but rather a softened take on trippy sounds and fun jamming, and their surf sound makes them more approachable and playful than many psych-folk groups. LA bands in the psych rock vein often convey their Southern California roots with this type of loose, beach inspired rocking and in this case it works really well. If you like surf rock, psychedelia, playful pop, or experiencing a whole new trip, Allah-Las are for you. In Portland on Saturday they gave all of this to the crowd. They are currently finishing up a West Coast tour before heading to Australia in February, so do yourself a favor and go see them.

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