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Jail Weddings at the El Rey theater on Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Jail Weddings

Jail Weddings was opening for The Jim Jones Revue at the El Rey theater on Saturday night, and if the large stage was extremely crowded with instruments and people when the stage curtain opened up, as soon as they started playing it was all about cheerful exuberance, animated drama and buoyant harmonies.

The 10 piece band is using a large range of instruments from violin, saxophone, guitar, bass, to synth and drums, reinventing the large band group once again with a lot of ideas as it is always possible to decline it I suppose. When there are two girls and a guy at the vocals, you can expect a lot of harmonies, and their doo-wops and countrish-Orbison-inspired sound is lovable at the first listening.

The audience’s wide-opened eyes were all centered on frontman Gabriel Hart’s charismatic presence, as he was embodying melodrama, constantly rising his arms to the ceiling, while screaming at some imaginary enemy. Animated by over-the-top strokes, he was moving like a David Byrne turned lounge singer with the dramatic stare of a skinny Meatloaf.

There was a lot to see at the same time, and it is always a delight to get a little overwhelmed by a surprising performance, during which they never mellowed down their complex 60s pop-vocal-punk-rock blend. Their upbeat sound seemed to unfold some hidden comic tragedies with hilarious song titles like ‘When we’re together we let ourselves go’, ‘Cheat on your new lover with me’, or ‘What did you do with my gun?’

In 2010, the LA ensemble has released a full-length album appropriately entitled ‘Love is Lawless’ following a previous EP ‘Inconvenient Dreams’ ( and their show was a non-stop floor-stomping, not afraid of the grandiose.

How am I alive
When we’re together we let ourselves go
I thought you were someone I knew
Tough Love
Starring at the Stars
I’m my own Doctor
Cheat on your new lover with me
Somebody lonely
What did you do with my gun

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