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Evangelicals Exorcise Their Rock’n’Roll Demons


It’s hard to find many people who will make it out on a Monday night in downtown Athens, Georgia, but Norman, Oklahoma’s outrageously awesome rock quartet Evangelicals made the west side of town come alive last night (Feb. 18) as they converted a crowd of in-the-loop music lovers at the Caledonia Lounge into psych rock believers. In a tiny space soaked in smoke, strobes, and blacklight-painted instruments, lead singer Josh Jones lit up the stage with his sizzling guitar and far soaring falsetto, conjuring everything between Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and a scare-laden shape of the Smiths.

With a preemptive warning from Jones, fans settled in at a safe distance from the speakers overhead as the foursome — which packed equal parts punk rock and roaring psychedelia — thrashed their way through tunes from their latest long-player The Evening Descends. One concertgoer even took things a little too far when testing the limits of the crowd by losing total self-control during the aptly titled track “Party Crashin’,” and was subsequently kicked out of the intimate venue mid-song. The twinkles and taps of “Paperback Suicide,” showcasing a shred similar to the brilliant bridge of “Blinded By The Light,” kept things moving, while chants of “Strange things keep happening” in the haunted house-sounding song “Bellawood,” made for a maddening finale as Jones slammed his snake-green snare drum so hard that it spilled into the crowd. Music fans beware, if you stumble upon a service run by these Evangelicals, earplugs are required along with your (Sunday’s or) Monday’s best.

We asked: Evangelicals are obviously named after the religious movement. If you were to start your own religious movement, what would your worshipers follow?