In their first visit to Portland, Tel-Aviv’s Vaadat Charigim played an intense 7-song set of sonically charged retro-gaze that flooded out of Bunk Bar and into the street at the eastside club near the Willamette River. The band is on a national tour in support of their second release, Sinking As A Stone. The album has received high marks and praise from KRCW and Yuck’s Max Bloom, whose Jewish heritage and Hebrew gave him further insight into the band’s lyrical side since are all sung in Hebrew.
The band’s name roughly translates to “Exceptions Committee” and is reflected in Vaadat Charigim’s music. Powering their way through 45 minutes of music, the trio was led by focused frontman singer/guitarist Juval Haring, and joined by bassist vocalist Dan Fabian Bloch drummer Yaval Guttman. Together they played with a concentrated precision. Seeing a band for the first time you’re never sure how their record will translates to a live performance, but Vaadat Charigim left no doubt, and performed with commanding authority.
By the band’s penchant for the shoegaze influence you might expect a dreamy, blissful resonance to their sound, if not even moody and melancholy, but the trio play full-bore. Haring, with his should length hair draped over his bearded face, played head bowed before the mic, and sang forcefully into the mic while intimately focused on his guitar playing.
Fabian Bloch stood tall in white tank top and dark trousers besides Haring, while throttling his low-slung bass and engaging Guttman’s propulsive drumming. With their hair cut neat, the rhythm section of Vaadat Charigim displayed a business-like approach to their performance yet performed with an absorbed urgency.
The band glided effortlessly through the new, slower melodies like “At Chevera Sheli” and “Klum” and played extended versions, allowing each member to jam on their respective instruments while maintaining the cohesiveness of the tracks.
During Haring’s seemingly introspective performance, his intensity was balanced by Fabian Bloch and Guttman’s on animated songs like “Hoalam Avad Mizman” from their 2013 debut The World Is Well Lost, and “Hadavar Haamati” that charged with pulsing control then faded into a dreamy stupor. Drummer Guttman’s soaked shirt was a testament to the band’s workout through the tight, industrious set.
It wasn’t necessary to be fluent in Hebrew to be affected and appreciate Vaadat Charigim’s performance. The filled venue was mesmerized by the trio’s impressive display and commitment to the resolve in their music. You are officially on notice — Vaadat Charigim will not leave you solemnly gazing, but sonically amazed.