Friday, October 23, 2009

Tiger Army coming to SoCal

Taking the stage for only the second time in ‘09, LA’s quintessential dark rock trio Tiger Army return with their 2nd annual Octoberflame festival for multiple performances at The Wiltern and The Grove of Anaheim. After last year’s successful five-night stand at The Grove, this year the geographic scale of the event has expanded to include Los Angeles with back-to-back nights at The Wiltern.

Tiger Army’s phenomenal success in Southern California can be attributed not only to the band’s unique style of music and their celebrated catalog, but also the uncommonly strong allegiance of their fans, many of whom have the band’s lyrics or signature “Tigerbat” tattooed on their bodies. Last year’s Octoberflame stand drew fans from not only the Golden State, but all over the U.S. and even several countries abroad. Few bands have achieved this kind of cult status, and even fewer are able to pack venues on back-to-back nights. The support bands, hand picked by Tiger Army front man & songwriter Nick 13, underscore the international nature of the event and some of the eclectic subcultures that Tiger Army unites: leading Industrial act Combichrist (Norway), Swiss psychobillies The Peacocks and LA deathrock pioneers .45 Grave among them, with other acts coming from Australia, Holland and Canada.

Call it what you will, but Tiger Army’s music is not easily categorized. Threads of early rock’n’roll and American roots music weave together with punk and British darkwave and post-punk. You’re just as likely to hear a Western ballad as to see a pit that recalls the heyday of American hardcore. An emphasis on songwriting and melody is the unifying thread as well as the mesmerizing intensity applied to whatever form is being tackled live. Different setlists every night nod to the rabid nature of the fans and surprises such as onstage guests and never-before-played songs are the order of the night at Octoberflame shows.

The band’s latest album, Music From Regions Beyond, called “one of the year’s (2007) best punk albums” by the New York Times, showcases the progression of Nick 13’s songcraft and musicianship. Featuring hit songs like “Forever Fades Away,” which received massive airplay from KROQ, “Afterworld,” which the band played on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and “Pain,” which the band performed on Fuel TV’s The Daily Habit, Music From Regions Beyond not only cemented Tiger Army’s position as one of Los Angeles’ finest bands, but broke new critical and commercial barriers for the band while showing no signs of artistic compromise.

These shows represent the only chance to see the Tiger Army anywhere in the world this year as they continue the well-earned songwriting hiatus they began after completing a two-year stretch of recording and international touring. Nick 13 has alluded to a possible alt-country solo project that may lengthen the time until Tiger Army’s next live appearances.

The darkness and atmosphere in Tiger Army’s sound and aesthetic make the Halloween season a natural time for this event, but there’s more than a superficial association: frontman 13 references the role of the fall season in pre-Christian societies from the ancient Celts to the indigenous peoples of the new world as a time for reflection and celebration, it’s clear there’s a spiritual connection much deeper than the crass commercialism that defines the modern holidays.

Two shows in Los Angeles, two shows in Anaheim – whether you see Tiger Army at every local appearance or have never seen them live, Octoberflame is not to be missed!

Tiger Army Tour Dates:
FRI 10/23 - The Wiltern w/ Combichrist, The Creepshow
SAT 10/24 - The Wiltern w/ The Peacocks, Miss Derringer
FRI 10/30 - The Grove of Anaheim w/ .45 Grave, Brigitte Handley & The Dark Shadows
SAT 10/31 - The Grove of Anaheim w/ Bleeding Through*, Milwaukee Wildmen

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