Back in Portland, Painted Palms impressed the Doug Fir Lounge house with their electronic infused psychedelia — shining brighter and sounding dreamier. The duo of Reese Donohue and Christopher Prudhomme, we’re joined by their touring drummer Shaun Lowecki. The trio played a stimulating set with relaxed energy that emphasized their sharp electro-pop fusion.
The group kicked off the night with “Too High” which is as much of a calling card for Painted Palms as anything in their growing catalog. With its driving electronic beat, Donohue’s shimmering reverbed vocals and flanged rhythm guitar sparked the energetic trio. Donohue’s joyful ease was complimented by his vintage smiley face t-shirt and white jeans that seemed to magnetically attract the early crowd to the front of the stage.
Donohoe kept the 35-minute set bouncing as Painted Palms ventured into a four-song showcase of new tunes from the latest release, Horizon. Starting with duo’s acknowledged favorite track from the album, “Refractor”, the lead track sets the tone of the album and steps in to take over where “Too High” left off on Forever. Prudhomme’s keyboards, synth and sample pad are the electronic adhesive the binds the seamless psychedelic bliss as the band slipped into intoxicating shuffle of “Disintegrate” then segued into the equally infectious dancing Beatle-esque rhythm of “Control”. Song number four slowed with the sedated aura of “Painkillers”.
As refined of a production as Horizons is on record, a key ingredients to Painted Palms striking live performance was Donohue & Prudhomme’s decision to add the drumming friend Lowecki on tour. His presence produced two fold — it allowed the trio to open up with improvised intros and extended jams, and allowed each musician to stretch out. Moreover, Lowecki’s drumming punch gave each track more an edge, and offered spirited versions of their recorded counterparts.
But before Painted Palms concluded their set, they reached back to their Canopy EP to dust off “All Of Us” with visions of swirling animated red poppies splashed across the band and stage for a dreamy, intoxicating effect. The trio pulled out all the stops for their last song, “Hypnotic”, and ended the evening with a spaced-out jam where the trio flexed some musical muscle, highlighted by a inspired rocking guitar lead from Donohue, something that hopefully shows up on a future studio efforts.
The best thing about seeing Painted Palms live is hearing them bring their studio cred out to play. They have created extensive visuals to compliment the fun during their evolving psychedelic pop excursions. As much as you’ll enjoy their studio efforts, Painted Palms displayed a kinetic creativity that takes their music to new heights on stage.