In between Coachella weekends, Swans and Angel Olsen played the Observatory’s Constellation Room last night in Santa Ana, CA. A strange pairing, sure, but the contrast between Olsen’s lush vocals and Swans’ loud dissonance was just what Orange County needed to kick off its weekend.
Playing a solo set, singer-songwriter Angel Olsen graced the Constellation Room’s stage with a guitar strapped around her shoulder and a beer in hand. Her soft vocals and light strumming set an intimate mood amongst the crowd, engaged by the St. Louis native’s poise and charm.
With a backline that outnumbers its members [there are 6 people in this band, folks], Swans took the stage, one after the other, slowly setting up an almost ambient, noisey intro. Throughout the night, they played plenty of material from last year’s “To Be Kind” as well as some new stuff.
Earlier during Olsen’s quiet set, the bass from The Observatory’s main room’s show – Kansas City’s Tech N9ne – bled over quite a bit into the smaller room. But less than 10 minutes into Swans, the experimental noise rockers were giving the rapper a run for his money. If I could’ve added a disclaimer to my show preview it definitely would have been bring ear plugs!
Loud, epic, intense; Swans delivered. Many devote fans’ nights were made and with such a packed and sold out show, we’re hoping the New York rockers come back to the O.C. sometime soon and play the main room.