Histronic’s ‘livetronica’ goes live at Yacht Club

BY NICK FETTY | MARCH 12, 2009 7:27 AM

mp3 sample: The Histronic

"Wicked Ghost"

During its tour last spring the Histronic — a Minnesota band just over 1 year old at the time — nearly had its short history ended.

When the group made a tour stop in Kansas, 18 tornadoes touched down in 24 hours, preventing the trio from playing the gig. In an attempt to make up for its lost show, band members tried to book a last-minute gig in Mason City, Iowa, on the way back to their homestate. But the second show fell through, too, making this weekend the Histronic’s début in the Hawkeye State.

The Histronic, a trance/house/electronic group, will play the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St., on Saturday. Iowa City’s Johnny on Point will open the show at 9 p.m.; tickets are $5.

“I’m stoked,” said Histronic bassist Bill “Gill Bill” Finn. “I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about the Yacht Club by other bands that have been out there.”

The trio formed in January 2007, although the members were friends as far back as junior high. The ensemble consists of Kevin “West Fox” Dorsey on synthesizers and keyboards, Matt “Stereo Adik” Mantle on drums, and Finn on bass.

“It’s like a jam band meets a trance DJ,” Dorsey said. “Some people call it ‘livetronica’ or trance fusion, but it’s tough to put a label on it.”

Last year, the Histronic released its début self-titled album. The group also has two albums of live material and several live recordings available for download. The band is working on material for its next studio album.

All of the band members majored music in college. Dorsey earned a degree in piano at the University of Denver, Mantle studied jazz drums at the University of West Virginia, and Finn studied jazz guitar at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minn. Finn picked up the bass guitar under three years ago.

During its tour through tornado alley last May, the group members took refuge in a church with some locals. The band made it to the venue four hours late, and the show was canceled because of the massive amount of rain.

“It was an intense period of time for sure,” Dorsey said. “The next day, it cleared up, and we were able to move on to Iowa, but it was definitely an interesting experience.”

The Histronic was a staple of the Minnesota festival scene in 2008, having played at the state’s Harvest Fest in Clarks Grove and 10,000 Lakes Festival in Detroit Lakes.

Dorsey recalls last year’s 10,000 Lakes performance as one of his most memorable shows. The group played from 1:30-3 a.m., following the Flaming Lips.

“[It was a] perfect time for our style of music,” Dorsey said. “That was our first time to get in front of a lot of people in that kind of atmosphere, and I’d say it was definitely one of our best shows ever.”
The Histronic has shared the stage with the Flaming Lips, George Clinton and P Funk, as well as Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh and his band.

The Histronic will return to Iowa on May 30 to play a show at the Redstone Room in Davenport.

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