Elephant Stone Malkin Bowl, Vancouver BC, June 6
Published Jun 08, 2015Based in Montreal since 2008, this was somehow Elephant Stone's first time playing in Vancouver. It didn't go exactly as planned, since frontman Rishi Dhir's bass amp blew out a couple times, leading to two false starts and then a hasty abandonment of "Wayward Son" from their 2014 album The Three Poisons, which they claimed was jinxing them. Yet, starting up with "Motherless Child (Love's Not for War)" next, the keyboard amp needed some attention, while Dhir adjusted his settings on the fly, but they ploughed through admirably.
Ditching his bass midway through their set, Dhir sat on a table with golden elephant tablecloth center stage with his legs crossed, the soles of his bare feet nearly black, to play a solemn and dignified sitar interlude before "Sally Go Round the Sun." A couple of their tracks are a little on-the-nose style-wise, but hints of darkness creep in their blend of psychedelic tropes and Eastern mysticism that they make work more times than not, all coming together on the menacing "Child of Nature (Om Namah Shivaya)." Think of something between Iron Butterfly, Strawberry Alarm Clock, and Buffalo Springfield, with more of a Krautrock edge.