New Madrid at the Frequency

  • Post Author
    by Web manager
  • Post Date
    Tue Aug 09 2016

This past Wednesday night the Frequency hosted Athens psych rock band New Madrid, along with Milwaukee's Ladders and Sleeping Jesus from Winona, Minnesota. As always, the Frequency crafted together a beautifully curated lineup that put on a great show.

Sleeping Jesus

This is actually the second time the Frequency has hosted Sleeping Jesus – I got the chance to see them there a month ago opening for Hoops. This night was great, same as last. Their group's frontman literally looks like Jesus and I feel as if I could have found them bumming around on a beach in California, despite their snowy hometown of Winona, Minnesota. Their music makes you believe they long to be there. It's this sleepy, beachy sound, like you're in a 70's Instagram filter. I hope to see them back again sometime!



Ladders, the second opener, hails from Milwaukee. The way I might describe this group is timeless; their mellow, indie folk-rock is perfect for a summer day and is unlikely to displease anyone. They, in my opinion, seem to have captured a summer-in-the-city vibe perfectly. It's beautiful, sweet, and the group put on a really great show. Their new, self-titled EP will drop August 11, and I can't wait for the album to listen to while sitting at James Madison Park or the Union Terrace.


New Madrid

There's something about psychedelic music live. Already expansive and visceral songs go a step further when you're actually physically present for them The music envelopes you in a wall of sound – tough, I'm realizing, to explain, but you know the feeling if you've been there.

New Madrid jumped on stage and immediately hit the ground running with “Untitled III” from their brand new album Magnetkingmagnetqueen, which opens with a guitar riff reminiscent of Television's “See No Evil”. The audience was not ready for the burst of energy we were hit with, but the band had no time to slowly draw us in. They were going, sprinting forward, and we took off with them, hurtled forward, it seemed, into who knows what.

By the end of the first song we felt like we had been through something. The show continued this way – each of New Madrid's songs seeming to be its own little world that would build, then cool, then build into a psychedelic freak out by the end. I would characterize this group by their energy – I was disappointed by the Wednesday-summer-night Frequency crowd, but they still put on a show that filled the space with such vivacity and intensity that I was shocked every time I looked back and didn't see the place packed with dancing bodies.

The highlight of the night was the 12:13 minute epic “And She Smiles” from their sophomore album Sunswimmer. It starts with this sweetly arpeggiating guitar, until the drumbeat kicks, in, straightforward eighth notes on the high hat, very slowly speeding up. And then you know “Oh shit. Something's about to go down.” The vocals start and the song is very sweet, she is smiling, but you can hear the intensity in the background. A steady, rocking chord on the second guitar crescendos, and the song builds and builds until an explosion, with the guitarist flailing and kicking as if the music was giving him too much energy to contain within himself. I feel like I was just hit in the face with the power of the music – blown away.
New Madrid put on a GREAT show Wednesday night – I cannot wait until they make it back to Madison!