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Elephant Stone, Evolfo and Warhorses: One Electric Night

On March 30, Elephant Stone, a transcendental psychedelic rock band from Montreal, came to Lager House in Detroit on Michigan Ave. — along with special guests Evolfo and Warhorses.

First off, before we get into the three bands performances that night, let's set the scene.

Lager House is an incredibly intimate Detroit venue, it is a 21+ location that serves as bar, restaurant and music venue all-in-one. It was a cold day in the outskirts of Corktown, the streets were mostly quiet for a Saturday but the bar — come 9 o’clock — was absolutely packed. 

As soon as I walked into the venue, I felt a sense of comfort. The wooden floors of Lager House remind me of old music halls, yet the side room where the performance ended up taking place struck me as a warmer version of a basement you would find at a small house show. 

Now, I didn’t get a full meal at Lager House, however, my +1 did order a couple of drinks and said that they were pretty good, the barkeeps were super friendly as well. It was my first time enveloping myself in this kind of atmosphere since turning 21 and it was a weird kind of exciting. 

When I stepped into the side-room where all the instruments were set up, I immediately noticed the traffic heading in and out of the several entrances and exits. It was bustling and busy, people carrying equipment, mics, instruments and most importantly for these small artists: merch. 

But, to cut to the chase, you do not really need cool designs on your tees or your records if you are these particular artists, because the music speaks for itself. 

"Evolfo performs"

To start off, Warhorses, a Detroit born-and-bred hard rock band that formed more than ten years ago, was an invariably impactful opening act. Amazing vocals from lead vocalist, Mike Alexander and great backing vocals from drummer Kritstin “ThunderQueen” Lyn. 

The members of Warhorses are people that you can immediately identify and think, “huh, yeah, those guys are a part of a band, for sure.” 

Really though, each member has a distinct look, style, energy and aura too them that makes the band super appealing. “Sound of Thunder” off of their 2019 LP, “Shadow Gold” is a great sampler track that they played that night — totally showcasing their abilities as skilled musicians.

Evolfo took the stage next and for these guys — music seems to mean everything to them. 

Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Evolfo is a five piece — consisting of a drummer, bassist, two guitarists who share lead vocals and a saxophone player — they play psychedelic music but half of their stuff is more older soul / garage-esque and their newer material is more psychedelic pop to me. 

"Elephant Stone performs"

Music as enigmatic as each of the band members’ facial hair, Evolfo played from the beginning of their catalog all the way up to their current (as well as new) material. 

My favorite track from theirs that they performed that night was “Strange Lights,” a Tame Impala-like track that had a commanding groove and rhythm all the way through — along with an infectious hook. 

Evolfo’s brief but eclipsing 45-minute set was encapsulated by blistering instrumentation, including killer sax and guitar solos. It was worth the wait. 

Finally, Elephant Stone — with their lead Rishi Dhir — took Lager House to new, psychedelic heights. 

Dhir, paraded and waltzed around the stage barefoot, a trick that maybe makes the pedal changes better, but nevertheless adds a bit of personality to the set. 

The four-piece band effortlessly played each of their songs from their long discography — spanning back to 2009. They also played tracks from their newest full length record, “Back Into The Dream.” 

My favorite from that record is “The Spark,” however, the mysterious and trance-like qualities of the track “Imaginary, Nameless Everybody in the World,” won me over. 

"Dhir performs on his electric sitar"

I was starting to get fatigued near the end of their hour-and-a-half long set, however, the last few tracks plus the final performance really convinced me of this band’s greatness. 

Finishing off the set was the song “Norwegian Wood,” a psychedelic Beatles cover straight out of their LP “Rubber Soul.” The extended cover of this classic song was only made better by Elephant Stone’s fantastic instrumentation. 

They came on for an encore performance, which surprised me. Despite this, I think it is more personal when smaller bands with cult-followings come on for encores — it makes their connection with the crowd more personable. 

Each of the bands — building off of one another — spectacularly demonstrated that live music is here to stay, no matter the size.

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