Tuesday, February 7th saw Atlanta playing host to one of the darkest acts in synthwave as GosT is tours North America in support of his latest album, Non Paradisi. There are few acts that can match his energy and intensity and there are none that explore the underbelly of the genre more than GosT. The opportunity to catch his live show was must see for Echosynthetic. Local talents Ian Deaton and Gregorio Franco opened the show, and I thought it was great for such an established act to support local music.
Gregorio Franco kicked off the show, making the transition from the studio to live stage for the first time. His metal tinged riffs were overlaid with excellent live synthesizer work to great effect. Before his set was over he had completely won over the Atlanta crowd. As he pounded out the keys and banged his head, so did the crowd, whipping them into a frenzy before they shouted “Franco! Franco! Franco!” at the end of his set. I’d discussed synthwave music with a fan from Tennessee who’d just recently traveled to Chicago to see Perturbator and had also previously seen Carpenter Brut and Magic Sword. After Franco left the stage he looked over at me and nodded his approval. Needless to say, Gregorio Franco is a rising talent. Check out his Bandcamp for current and upcoming releases.
Ian Deaton followed with one of the most frenzied sets I’ve ever seen. The leather hat, sunglasses, and suspenders along with red and blue lights set the stage for one of the most unique performances I’ve had the chance to enjoy. Deaton danced and belted out Joy Division-esque vocals over blastbeat new wave synths. I couldn’t help myself from smiling because I’ve been to hundreds of shows and have become admittedly jaded. Most performances, no matter the genre, are basically the same. When someone surprises me like Deaton did I had to take a moment to soak in the performance. I can guarantee you’ve never seen or heard anything like it, and that’s an awesome thing for me to say. Give him a listen at his Bandcamp and help support his art.
Synthwave underlord GosT took the stage last, coming on to the stage as if beckoned by the demonic orchestra that blasted through the speakers at the Drunken Unicorn. What followed is one of the most metal shows I’ve been to in ages. Mind you, there’s not a single guitar being used here…just electronic equipment. It’s no wonder GosT is often brought up metal forums and gets Tweets from the who’s who of metal promotions. As he unleashed tracks from his entire catalog, the crowd at the venue were completely under his control. As the skull faced GosT raised his hands, so did the crowd. As he banged his head to the dark synth riffs, so did everyone else. It was a stellar performance and it was fun to have nothing but fans at the show. You didn’t have people off to the side talking on their own or having drinks, ignoring the brilliance on stage. No…this night belonged to GosT.
All in all it was a brilliant show, made all the better by great local acts like Ian Deaton and Gregorio Franco. I’d also like to mention that GosT has one of the best merch line-ups I’ve seen. He’s got a Non Paradisi shirt that is sure to get you looks from your more conservative friends and copies of Behemoth and Non Paradisi on vinyl and cd (including limited edition numbered editions of Non Paradisi on vinyl and cd). A check of his webstore will show that all of these items are sold out so the only way to get them is by catching one of his remaining tour dates.