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The husband/wife duo of Amber Valentine and D.C. native Edgar Livengood, aka Jucifer, don’t really tour so much as they live their lives on the road. Of the many bands out there that seem to tour constantly, Jucifer probably has them all beat. So it makes sense that their live show is a completely different animal from their recorded output.
On record, Jucifer’s music is song-based heavy alternative rock with the occasional curveball thrown in from sources as diverse as sludgy metal, pseudo-grindcore, neo-folk balladry and more. But live, Jucifer is, pure and simple, a volume fetishist’s dream, with enough amps to play an arena show without a PA. (At the Ottobar, the venue PA was used, and hilariously, all but one of the stage monitors was turned to face the audience.) They play all the loud and heavy stuff and none of the poppier stuff, with no breaks between songs, such that the entire concert experience is a visceral exercise in noise. This is either a beautiful thing or a supremely annoying thing, depending on who you ask.
The small but enthusiastic crowd on Monday night at the Ottobar seemed to fall in the former camp. Jucifer’s short set was satisfying, cathartic, and well-received. A band that tours this much and regularly plays to tiny audiences has to love what they’re doing, and with Jucifer this comes through in the almost joyful intensity they exude onstage. It’s the loudest live show this side of Sunn O))), and it’s a hell of a lot of fun to boot.
More photos after the jump, and check out the full gallery including the three opening bands.
Two Baltimore bands, Pala and Nitroseed, opened, as well as hard-rockers Mount Vicious from San Francisco: