If there’s ever been a reason to get to a show early to catch the opening act, Funeral Party is it. On tour with Deftones in support of the long-awaited debut release on RCA, The Golden Age of Knowhere, Funeral Party has an overflowing dance card that began at the end of March in New York City – includes an instore performance at Independent Records in Denver on April 22, two nights at the Ogden April 22 & 23 – and keeps going non-stop across the country through the end of June.
It’s been two years since I interviewed Funeral Party’s guitarist, James Lawrence Torres, right after the band had been signed to WBR and before SXSW 2009. At that time the release for The Golden Age… was set for the spring of 2009, so who’s to say what slow boat to China happened to delay the release, but it’s here now.
This is not to say the band’s been sitting on their laurels. Quite the contrary. Playing live is what Chad Elliott (lyrics, vocals, keyboards), Torres, Kimo Kauhola (bass) and joining them on the road, Tim Madrid (keyboards, percussion), do best. In addition to U.S.-based tours (including some gigs with Two Door Cinema Club in 2010), the L.A. boys spent some time overseas, making more than a few friends and fans and releasing Funeral Party – Live at the BBC in January of this year. The E.P. includes live studio recordings of “Finale,” “Just Because” “New York City Moves to the Sound of L.A.” along with great additions to your summertime playlist, remixes by The Kids of 88, Mike Relm, and Dave Sitek.
A film short documentary was also shot while in the U.K., giving the viewer not only insight into Funeral Party’s beginnings and how far they’ve come as musicians and individuals, but a chance to hear a gorgeous, acoustic version of their signature title track, “The Golden Age of Knowhere.” It’s a rare opportunity to hear the stripped down yet highly intricate words and vocals coming from Elliott’s soul as Torres makes the guitar sing.
On The Golden Age…, “Giant Song” shows the band’s progression, embracing an slight bend towards calypso or a ditty that would take a parade down the street during Carnival, bubbling over with a dance persona that pours over their signature razors edge, but still retains a layered, quantum story within the lyrics, due to the way the wheels turns within Elliott’s creative mind.
“And the falling sky / Exploding colors / Synchronized / In a stream of light /And watch them glow /And believe / There’s still hope for us to see / In soaring stars and shooting skies / A taste of life you’ve never tried.”
What is still sitting in the band’s archive, having not made it to the album, is “Genuine Idea,” a slightly twisted and provocative trip of a song that would have fit well into The Crow Soundtrack. Hopefully that will be on the sophomore release, because it is one that many ears should hear.
To experience Funeral Party live is see and hear creative chaos. It’s a punk explosion in every sense of the word. But what simmers below is dark, deep, and highly cerebral. These men are beyond their years, and this wisdom is personified within the double entendre of knowhere.
Funeral Party on tour with Deftones:
Fri. April 22 – Instore at Independent Records (Colfax) – 6pm
Fri. April 22 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
Sat. April 23 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
Tues. April 26 St. Louis, MO The Pageant
Thurs. April 28 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
Fri. April 29 Milwaukee, WI The Rave
Sat. April 30 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre
Sun. May 1 Detroit, MI Fillmore Theatre
Tues. May 3 Toronto, ON The Sound Academy
Thurs. May 5 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino
Fri. May 6 Providence, RI Lupo’s
Sat. May 7 Hartford, CT Webster Theatre
Mon. May 9 Boston, MA House Of Blues
Tues. May 10 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
Weds. May 11 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
Fri. May 13 New York, NY Best Buy Theatre
Sat. May 14 New York, NY Best Buy Theatre
Funeral Party on tour with Panic! At The Disco:
Weds. June 8 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre
Thurs. June 9 Columbus, OH LC Pavilion
Fri. June 10 Indianapolis, IN Egyptian Room at Murat Center
Sat. June 11 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
Sun. June 12 Kansas City, MO Beaumont Club
Weds. June 15 Houston, TX House Of Blues
Fri. June 17 Tempe, AZ Marquee Theatre
Sat. June 18 Las Vegas, NV House Of Blues
Sun. June 19 San Diego, CA House Of Blues
Tues. June 21 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
Weds. June 22 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theatre
Fri. June 24 Seattle, WA Showbox SoDo
Sat. June 25 Portland, OR Roseland Theatre
Sun. June 26 Boise, ID Knitting Factory
Tues. June 28 Denver, CO Odgen Theatre
Weds. June 29 Omaha, NE Sokol Auditorium