By: Jamie Reysen
When I saw Infected Mushroom on New Year’s Eve, a larger-than-life mushroom loomed above the stage. Though it seemed to demand attention, it didn’t keep mine.
These guys don’t need visual backup to put on a captivating show. On June 11th, the band played for the sold-out Paradise Rock Club in Boston, sans psychedelic mushrooms and over-the-top light shows. Their stage presence alone was enough to keep an audience captive.
What began as a psytrance duo (comprised of Israelis Amit Duvdevani and Erez Eisen) shape-shifted into an electronic rock band with the addition of guitarist Tom Cunningham for U.S. tours in 2004 and percussionist Rogério Jardim in 2007.
Their past two albums—Vicious Delicious (2007) and Legend of the Black Shawarma (2009)—have become progressively more infused with a heavy metal sound. Yet, Infected Mushroom isn’t heavy metal, psytrance, or even electronic rock. As a live act, they’re all of these things, but they’re best described as an unbelievable band—plain and simple.
The medium-sized Paradise has a personal feel, and Infected Mushroom fit right in like a bunch of old friends. They began with the popular crowd-pleaser “Becoming Insane,” and continued to churn out hits, from “Cities of the Future,” off IM the Supervisor, to “Killing Time,” from Shawarma.
Duvdevani, the ultimate engager, paced the stage, singing while he reached out to audience members, constantly hyping the crowd. Cunningham nailed powerful guitar sections, while Jardim expertly banged away on his drums like there was no tomorrow. Throughout the performance, the masterful Erez Eisen fueled the electronic pulse.
At times, the set felt completely organic, as if they were just jamming instead of thinking. Their technical talents combined with their raw energy gave old hits new meaning. A high-voltage cover of “The Pretender” transported the Foo Fighters’ song into a whole new realm.
As the show came to an end, the audience had a very specific request, and it wasn’t just “One more song.” Fans chanted, “Hea-vy-weight, hea-vy-weight,” and the band granted their request. After all, “Heavyweight” is the kind of song that paints a near-perfect picture of Infected Mushroom, with its psychedelic, complex beats and intense guitar riffs. As Duvdevani interjected with lyrics from “Special Place,” it felt like the perfect note upon which to hang up the night.
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