SATURDAY

At the turn of the last century, when rock ‘n’ roll had not yet caused even the faintest of swoons, Daniel Higgs might have appeared on the stage at your local gathering spot, playing with the fearfully intrigued gathering like a yo-yo. In this century, much to the delight of plenty of mesmerized indie kids, the bearded prophet mounts the pulpit in front of a skilled bunch of musicians: guitarist Asa Osborne, bassist Nathan Bell, and drummer Mitchell Feldstein. These guys almost convince you that nothing even remotely threatening is going to happen while they’re playing, even as you glance uneasily at the imposing part-street preacher/part-rock ‘n’ roll frontman they share the stage with. At first, Lungfish seems almost placid, the music droning in a beautiful, captivating way. But when Higgs grabs the mike, you realize that all the prettiness is like a needle-bearing nurse’s witty banter: Whether he mutters a mantra or screams about hellfire and brimstone, you end up on your ass, 10 feet from your shoes. As the band crescendos around him, you’re swept along, not much caring where Higgs and his acolytes take you. The set rocks on, and before your very eyes, Higgs displays feats of facial acrobatics previously attained only by the ever-pliable cartoon mouth, raising his microphone stand above his head like a standard. Beneath the music, there’s nothing but the sound of rapt showgoers, completely blown away. Lungfish performs with Machetres, Radiant Pig, and Gist at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Wilson Center, 15th and Irving Streets NW. $5. (202) 237-6838. (Mike Kanin)

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