This was quite a different show than last time we’d seen Calla, which was just a few weeks back in Austin for SXSW at an indoor day party played smack dab in the middle of the afternoon. Though members of the band are originally from Texas, their sound is made for the dark, with a brooding, textural force like a rich pinot noir sipped as a nightcap in some hidden-away, speakeasy lounge. The stage, dimly lit with smoky floor cans, created the perfect somber lighting for a fantastical trip through Calla’s repertoire.

Older hits from 2005′s Collisions, like “Initiate” and “Play Dead,” really got the crowd swaying, but all were also very accepting of new tunes from Strength In Numbers like “Sanctify.” It is always difficult for a band to follow up a previous stellar effort. With each new release, it must feel like starting all over again, trying to win the audience back. Judging from tonight’s performance, Calla is well on their way to doing just that.. –CD