We Went There: Kikagaku Moyo at the 7th St Entry

Kikagaku Moyo @ the 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis, MN – May 14th, 2017

Kikagaku Moyo live are as if your favorite post-rock band took a time machine back to the late 60s and took the best psych rock from across the globe (with a special emphasis on the churning grooves of Krautrock) and brought it back in the form of 5 skinny long-haired kids from Tokyo. The group, featuring two crashing guitars, bass, drums and a sitar, created the kind of (controlled) sonic explosion that feels both historic and timeless. Their songs ebbed and swelled, and the group looked like they were out of central casting to be churning out such amazing tunes for a solid-sized, tuned-in crowd at the 7th Street Entry.

Their 60+ minute set leaned heavily on their more rollicking tunes, leaving their more breezy freak-folk for their recorded material, with extended jams sprinkled liberally throughout the set. The final song of their set saw them bringing wave after wave of guitars crashing through the speakers, creating a moment of zen that had the crowd wrapped around their finger. It was one of many moments where I caught myself in awe and wondering what exactly it was that made their set feel so special. I couldn’t help but thinking that the way their instruments weaved amongst each other, while the drums and bass galloped forward, would have felt perfectly in place both in in lineup with Faust or Mogwai. I recently came to know the band, and have been digging their back catalog, and their live set only makes me more interested in making sure I don’t miss anything from this outstanding group.

Opening were DIIE and Good Doom, who brought different takes on psych rock to open the evening. Good Doom, leaning on synths instead of guitars, were more hazy and abstract, creating a fuzzy patchwork of heady pop music. DIIE were darker with sharper edges, lurching more towards a towering groove than an ethereal feeling. Both did a great job of setting the stage for Kikagaku Moyo.

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