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Blaqk Audio live!

| September 26, 2007 | 0 Comments

Blaqk Audio
Double Door, Chicago
Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Given the over-the-top cartoon goth character Davey Havok perpetually lives in as the frontman for AFI, it’s understandable even he might need an escape. The concept came to life last Tuesday at the Double Door, where Havok and AFI bandmate Jade Puget debuted the Chicago appearance of the pair’s synth-minded side-project, Blaqk Audio.

Thankfully more celebratory than gothic, the duo’s electronica-influenced Audio could have easily become an exercise in overdramatics, like so much AFI. Instead, Havok and Puget seemed to be having too much fun to allow any such moping. While Puget crafted synth-heavy electro pop, Havok bounded onstage with an infectious energy, not to mention a more believable and grounded stage presence than his AFI persona.

On their debut, CexCells (Interscope), Blaqk Audio come off as little more than a Depeche Mode tribute group, albeit one with a fairly recognizable voice. Which made Tuesday’s performance that much more of a pleasant surprise, as Havok’s boisterous vocals and Puget’s skillful production onstage brought surprising life to the album’s material. “Cities Of Night,” one of CexCells‘ catchier moments, impacted heavily upon arrival, as one of the group’s best fusions of melody and industrial-pop aesthetics. Elsewhere, “Semiotic Love” best displayed the dance-friendly side of Blaqk Audio. The uplifting tone of the evening even transferred to the comparatively more dour “The Love Letter,” instead injecting it with a newfound upbeat energy. The celebratory tone of the night, however, was never more apparent than in the duo’s left-field, and surprisingly straight-played cover of Blur’s “Boys And Girls.” Which asked the question, how can half of AFI have fun and remain not only credible, but impressive?

Thankfully, the duo managed to answer that, and stay fashionable.

— Jaime de’Medici

Category: Live Reviews, Weekly

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