Alcest & Emma Ruth Rundle – Slim’s SF

On October 6th, NoiseSpeaks headed over to Slim’s SF to check out French shoe gazers Alcest. Marriages frontwoman, Emma Ruth Rundle, opened the show with her guitar-driven solo work.

When Emma Ruth Rundle took the stage at Slim’s, it was just her and her guitars on stage. While she played a short set, she was warmly welcomed by the gathering crowd. Her set came almost entirely from her latest solo work, Some Heavy Ocean. Her performance was more subdued than her set at ArcTanGent, but the tone worked well leading into Alcest’s set.

There were two highlights to Emma’s set. The first being the performance of The Nocturnes’ song, “The Color.” The second one came at the very end of her set when she asked Alcest’s Neige to join her onstage for the last song, “Run Forever“. The duet added a softness compared to the recorded version. Seeing the two perform together was surely something to remember for fans of both artists.

Before Alcest took the stage, I had overheard a lot of chatter speculating what Alcest would play: the louder, black meta-tinged shoe gaze or the more recent ambient tracks. However, Alcest was able to balance the variety of their sounds in their set. The set was pretty evenly distributed across the last four of their major releases. Throughout the show, you could see who in the audience was there for which sounds as the tone of the crowd changed accordingly.

All members put on a terrific show, however drummer Winterhalter had a bit of a comedy of errors happening at the back of the stage. His bass drum kept on trying to wander away from him until finally a wall of sandbags barricaded it in. Since everyone is such a professional, all the mishap added was a bit of lightheartedness to the show.

Overall, the entire tone of the night was relaxed and chill. Both Emma and Alcest put in atmospheric sets, which worked well to play off each other. The couple special moments throughout the night ensured a successful show.

Alcest will continue their tour of the US with Emma Ruth Rundle until October 17th when they finish in Philadelphia. Be sure to check out both artists newest releases: Alcest’s Shelter and Emma Ruth Rundle’s Some Heavy Ocean out now on their respective labels.

Alcest’s influence within both the black metal and shoe gaze genres is undeniable. Based out of France, this four piece band was one of the first bands to combine the raw bleakness of black metal with the dreamy components of shoe gaze. Official site

Emma Ruth Rundle is known for her involvement with bands Marriages and Red Sparowes. Her etherial and guitar driven solo work has brought comparisons to artists like Sinead O’Connor or The Cranberries. Official site

Both photos of Emma Ruth Rundle courtesy of Allan Wan Photography. Official site

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