Live Review: Holy Ghost! on the Masquerade Hell Stage, 11/21/11
Brooklyn’s Holy Ghost! have been on a steady incline this past year, getting a thrust from their Static on the Wire EP release last year and especially their self-titled release this past spring. The New York duo of Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel have know each other since first grade, and been making music almost that long.
It all began with some bluesy covers, then the move into hip hop, and now they’ve created a sort of 21st century disco, for those who care to listen. Apparently, there are a lot who care to listen. Promoted on James Murphy’s DFA Records, Holy Ghost! have received rave reviews and have been hitting the pavement hard this past year. Still, the band is not a household name in America. (And yes, it’s that James Murphy, of the wonderful – and missed – LCD Soundsystem)
This was the third trip through Atlanta in 2011 for Holy Ghost! Back in March, they swept through, supporting the terrific Cut/Copy tour. Then in August, they were part of the electronic/DJ Identity Fest. Now, on a headlining tour, Millhiser and Frankel have proven to be ready for the challenge.
Playing nearly the entire album, as well as some tracks from 2010’s Static on the Wire, Holy Ghost! pleased their fans with some excellent late 70s/early 80s sounds that do not seem dated. It’s an update on that era, with a 2011 NYC spin. “Hold On,” “Do It Again,” “Wait & See” and “Hold My Breath” were just a few of the tunes performed.
Holding court on the Hell Stage of Atlanta’s Masquerade is no small task when the metal/hardcore Thrash and Burn tour is pounding away on the Heaven Stage (upstairs). The boys laughed it off and actually seemed to be using the thumping from above as a sort of programmed drum machine. Somehow, it worked.
So, with a little more exposure and a lot more touring, American may just be ready for a little salvation with Holy Ghost!