Saturday, March 12, 2016

Moon Jelly illuminated the In-between series.


On Saturday March 5th, Moon Jelly performed at the Gallery at Avalon Island as part of the monthly In-between series. When I arrived at the upstairs theater, Kate Shults was setting up the lighting and video effects. Hanging vines had their branches wrapped in foil as if to protect them from harmful radiation or alien attack. A vibrant green lamp caught my eye to anchor the scene and I sat in the front row to start sketching. Steven Head, the guitarist made a comment about all the "foiliage".  He let me know that his family would be sitting to my left. He was also surprised that I was working digitally. He got ready to perform by putting on a pair of glitter socks. A photographer asked all the band members to hold plants and she photographed them before the show.

I just wanted to be sure I was fine where I was seated before committing to the sketch. Moriah Lorraine Russo sat next to me, and I felt at ease since she is an artist herself. My concern was that the room would go dark and I would be be the jerk with a giant illuminated tablet. People have been shot in Florida for turning on their digital devices in a dark theater. She reassured me that she enjoyed watching the sketch develop. Hopefully others felt the same. 

Timothy Murray, the other Moon Jelly guitarist, held up the small purple vase to let people know that they could place any tips inside since they were not getting paid for this gig. He was good about reminding the audience that he would be making the announcement multiple times.

Anna Wallace, the lead singer also performed on an Omnichord. She had on giant eyelashes and plenty of glitter around her eyes. The bands music is classified as pop psych. "Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots can't stay alone; like the communicative life of people, two or three polka-dots become movement... Polka-dots are a way to infinity." - Yayoi Kusama. Before the show, band members joked that it was hard to be weird but accessible. 

The music flowed and ebbed with a mysterious electron vibe. One song flowed seamlessly into another. The lyrics were quirky and fun. I absolutely loved the show which took me back to the brooding seamless concerts of Pink Floyd. Moon Jelly however had a much light flair. Blurred and pixelated images flickered on the screens. Listening was like a dream in which you find you are floating, a bit out control, but certain that things will work out. The audience went wild when the music found its resolution. Moon Jelly was the opening act for Mutual Benefit. I felt satiated when their set was done and decided to slip out before Mutual Benefit was set up. It was a great concert in a great venue. 

After the show, I got to see the plein air art show now hanging in the gallery. Kelly Medford, an American Artist has been living in Rome where she does a plein air painting every day. We collaborated on an Orlando Sketch Tour workshop on Valentines Day weekend and it was such a fun experience.

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