After a five-year hiatus, Film School returned to the Echo Friday night before a packed audience receiving a thunderous welcome. The five-piece act based out of San Francisco began their set list with ‘City Lights’ accompanied by a dimly lit stage ambiance. Suited perfectly for a Michel Gondry score, their atmospheric transition melodies kept fans in a soothing mental state yet provided enough energy to invigorate everyone’s imagination. Their performance carried a level of musical intimacy and tranquility with bursts of enthusiasm that exceeded expectations. Their signature fusion of dream pop post punk sequence maintained an escalating approval from the start. Vocalist Krayg Burton sent listeners into outer space oblivion simply with smooth communication.
During their hour set, a healthy combination of 80’s electronica shaped thick base lines with sharp guitar strings. Having a catalog extending over a dozen years, they meticulously arranged a well-balanced track inventory to acknowledge their albums. Their delicate approach also featured some moments of evolution while remaining grounded. Still, people swayed during the gentle chaos while gravitating to the floor without appearing melodramatic or bleak. Conversations between the audiences were kept to a minimum, which allowed fans to remain in their mental rapture. The shadowy overcast of the stage complimented their placid overtones yet steering clear of any cliché mementos of melancholy and somber. As a signoff, ‘11:11’ closed the night transitioning into ‘Activated’ receiving a warm appreciation all around.
Since their San Francisco reunion in 2014, Film School has recaptured the interest and demand of dedicated fans that crave more appearances and hopes of new material. Their ability to mend the genres of shoeaze with contemporary loops of punk style renditions without sounding pretentious expresses a certain aspect of live music that is currently missing on stage. The Echo provided somewhat of a confidential perception that made the concert considerably exclusive. Although at times Film School’s level of serenity can be a surplus, it’s without question a healthy dose of enjoyment everyone should appreciate.