Kylesa | Circle Takes the Square | KEN Mode

Santiago Alquimista - Lisbon 
Although tonight’s show isn’t exactly crowded, the excitement surrounding these shows is clear to see on the faces of the few ones that decided to go down to Santiago Alquimista and watch psychedelic rockers Kylesa in action. After all, not only this is the band’s first time in Lisbon, they’ve also brought with them two enthralling and distinct groups, Ken Mode and Circle Takes the Square, as support acts.

The evening starts with the Canadians Ken Mode, who delve straight into the belligerent and compelling sounds of “Obeying The Iron Will...” from their latest effort “Venerable”. The three-piece play their entire set with the lights out, which helps create a dark and mysterious ambience that totally complements their intense and emotional charged performance. It’s a great shame that a large portion of tonight’s crowd is acting with indifference towards this talented bunch.

Second up are Circle Takes the Square, who are a guitarist short tonight, but play a fierce and highly convincing show nonetheless. At times bordering Today is the Day levels of frenzied volume, the band engages in an experimental melange of raucous punk, abrasive noise and rapid-fire blasts of grind throughout nearly 40-minutes. Their set is divided between rabid numbers like “Crowquill” and “In the Nervous Light of Sunday” from their debut album “As the Roots Undo” and schizophrenic and plain puzzling songs like “Way Of Ever-Branching Paths” from their recent EP “Decompositions - Vol I”.

Next is Kylesa, and the crowd goes loud when the band walks into the stage to perform “Said and Done” from their mind-blowing album “Static Tensions”. Despite a few problems in the vocal department, the five-piece are on glorious form tonight playing all the crowd-pleasing tunes like “Tired Climb”, “To Forget” and “Unknown Awareness”. Phillip Cope and Co. doesn’t do much in the way of audience interaction, but that doesn’t seem to irk the crowd, who shows their appreciation for every song very loudly.