Cosmo Sheldrake w/ Alto Palo - The Observatory 10/12/19
Updated: Oct 17, 2019
Courtesy of Melissa Zhuang
I arrived just as the doors opened to watch the steady flow of people enter the Conservation room of Santa Ana’s intimate concert venue. There were high schoolers out for their very first concert, families coming out for a night out, college couples arriving for a cute date night out, and a few tipsy boys at the back of the room (courtesy of the bar located right next to the stage).
Alto Palo opened tonight. They began playing smooth, electro-mix with the talented Dillon Treacy on drums, Mike Haldeman on guitar, and Jesse and Rahm mixing in with bass, synth, and eerie vocals. There was a clear connection between the members: eye contact during beat changes and smiles and nods at the end of good play. The drums and beats that came from this quartet were skilled and complex. Don’t think there could have been another better budding band to open for Cosmo.
When it was time for Cosmo Sheldrake, he simply slipped through the crowd and stepped on stage while being greeted with whoops and cheers. Cosmo slipped off his boots and began playing head bowed, curly hair bobbing to the beat in black socks. Whimsical science nonsense played to a beat is a perfect description of “The Moss,” “The Fly,” and “Pelicans We;” new songs featured in his debut album The Much Much How How And I released with Transgressive Records. Pausing between songs he would explain the different sounds: pig noises recorded in London, fish bladder sounds for a bass beat, cows mooing from mountaintops, and bird calls from an ancient archive of sound recordings. It’s this mixture of sound and noise that creates such a unique listening experience. Paired with an intimate concert venue, Cosmo’s relaxed composure, and the blue lighting; listening to him is like floating amongst moon-lit ocean waves.
Cosmos’s audience were just as whimsical as his act. In the corner we had a grandmother dancing to the beat; to the left, a mother and daughter dressed in sunflower decorated headbands, and a budding group of musical teens out for their first concert ever. Alto Palo and Como Sheldrake at the Observatory in Santa Ana, CA couldn’t have been more chill.