Noise Pop Show Review: Nilbog with Chaki at Rickshaw Stop, 2/26/2018

by Gordon Elgart on March 6, 2018

All photos by Natalia Perez.

I’d like you to close your eyes for a moment and think of the nerdiest concert you can imagine. What do you see when you do this? Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos? The Fair Maidens Play Iron Maiden by Four Ukuleles? Queensryche doing Operation Mindcrime AND Operation Mindcrime 2? Well, my fellow music nerds, I am here to report that I have a concert nerdier than my wildest dreams, and it was wonderful.

Starting off the night was Chaki, a one-man space-funk ensemble that began his tight half hour with some incredibly funky originals, full of epic bass being played in our face as his prerecorded tracks drove the music forward. Eventually he settled behind his keyboards and samples for a fun set with equal part groove and equal part comedy. His set ended with covers of Leonard Nimoy’s “Legend of Bilbo Baggins,” Belle and Sebastian’s “Fox in the Snow” and the Prince classic “When You Were Mine.” I hope he calls me when he decides he needs a drummer.

Nilbog (that’s Goblin spelled backwards in case you haven’t seen Troll 2) is a band from Los Angeles that plays extremely faithful covers of music from the soundtracks of horror films while clips from that film play in the background behind them. There are five members of the band, and three of them spend much of the time reading the music from transcriptions the band have lovingly made, often needing to find alternate music sources, as some of these films don’t even have traditional soundtrack releases. When the challenging nature of some of these pieces are considered, you can watch real dedication and talent on display throughout the night.

The crowd was littered with horror movie fans, many of whom I know, cheering when they heard the names of movies they love, mocking me silently when I said I don’t even like horror movies, and bobbing their head to the rollicking beat of the more upbeat tracks. We even had one woman dancing like a maniac in the front row. I hope she wasn’t actually being possessed. Can we get an exorcist up in this joint? Because all we had in the set list was Exorcist II, which even this heretic knows is a hated film among horror aficionados. 

The live performance of film music has been a popular trend over the past few years, with many orchestras doing live accompaniment to famous films, worldwide concert tours by the likes of Hans Zimmer and John Carpenter, and countless guest appearances by John Williams conducting his famous scores. Nilbog, a small ensemble that treated us to their very first show outside of their hometown, could be poised to move this trend from the staid concert halls to the small clubs full of dedicated movie fans. They’re not just for horror movie fans, but for anyone who likes well written, dynamically performed dramatic music.


All photos by Natalia Perez.

I’ve listed the films and the names of the composers from the Nilbog set. I do not know the individual track names so those aren’t listed. 

Escape From New York – John Carpenter
Deep Red – Goblin
Return of the Living Dead – Matt Clifford
Exorcist 2: The Heretic – Ennio Morricone
Tentacles – Stelvio Cipriani
Goodbye Uncle Tom – Riz Ortolani
Phantasm – Fred Myrow & Malcolm Seagrave
Tenebrae – Goblin
The Thing – Ennio Morricone
Phenomena – Goblin
Terror Vision – The Fibonaccis

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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