Adai at The Red Room


Sometimes it's the little things that matter. But it's just so much better when those little things are filling in the nearly microscopic gaps in the big things.

Such is the case with Adai, whose set at The Red Room was the biggest sound I've ever heard from a two-piece and one of the most powerful live performances I've seen in months.

Rather than quibble over reality and call it art, the Denver metal group has a firm grasp on what works.

The first thing is sound. Adai had amazing equipment. A single note or chord hit like a freight train. And the blistering lines, riffs and beats that they offered up were like being run over by every single car in that train. To say the sound was big is like calling space big. Sure, it's in the neighborhood of accuracy, but it fails to convey the sheer scope of things. On top of that, their arrangements were fluid, constantly moving and never growing stale so that so giant a sound didn't become a tedious din.

And while sound matters on stage, its importance is only one dimension of the total product. Visual presence and performance are just as important. And while not every band has a style, sound or capacity to fling themselves all around the stage, if they don't, then they need something to fill in that space. Adai, found that with lights and fog. And while their show was ultra-basic—just intermittent backlighting through a mist— nowhere near the psychedelia of the early '70s or even the probing atmosphere of Interpol's live shows, it magnified the drama of the music many times over and made the two performers seem enormous, almost mythical.

Take note new bands: Adai knows how it's done.