Leon III - Live En Cyclorama

- 55:16

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Director Joshua Shoemaker explores a psych-tinged daydream in "Live en Cyclorama" - a concert film from Austin's Leon III. Immersed in surreal projections and set pieces inspired by D. Norsen's artwork for their sophomore album "Antlers in Velvet," the band paints a lush sonic landscape that suits the scenery. The core duo of Andy Stepanian and Mason Brent are augmented by a seven-piece ensemble including Kai Welch (Abigail Washburn), Tony Crow (Lambchop), Paul Niehaus (Calexico), Isais Gil (Black Flag), Mark Riddell (Mighty Orq), Kira Small & Tania Hancheroff. "The concept for Live En Cyclorama came about as a plaything for our idle hands," explains Stepanian. "We released 'Antlers in Velvet' in March 2021, when touring and all that didn’t seem like a viable option. So, we were sitting around, spinning out with boredom and concern that we weren't going to get much going with the album. The one idea that kept resurfacing was filming a large production for broadcast. It was a decent enough idea, but we were concerned about how to avoid the drudgery of typical livestreams and wanted to make it a sort of over the top event." Stepanian reached out to Nashville-based director Joshua Shoemaker, who had directed surreal videos for "Between the Saddle & the Ground" and "This Whisper is Ours". "Joshua is a sucker for big ideas, so we brainstormed doing an immersive performance that would bring the artwork from the new record to life." The performance was filmed in late May 2021 at Shoemaker's studio in Nashville. "He insisted that we only do the songs one time straight through with no redos to keep the energy just like a regular live show. High stakes... sink or swim." That pressure pays off with a soaring set that shows off the full dynamic range of the band. From its frenetic peaks to its mellow valleys, "Live en Cyclorama" captures a psychedelic outfit at the crest of their own wave.