The crowd was as interesting as the band at the Hawkwind show at the 9:30 club Sunday night. Old hippies (there were genuine bell-bottoms in evidence), old metalheads and young punks curious about the buzz on this 21-year-old British band all made the scene. Despite the swirling psychedelia projected onto the walls of the club, the show was ultimately flat and static. Walls of keyboards hid Harvey Bainbridge, while guitarist-keyboardist (and sole remaining founding member) Dave Brock stood still in the shadows through the set. The two lead singers were the focal point, with newcomer Bridgett Wishart changing costumes and masks for every song, and performing the dense material with surprising passion.
The songs were all in the 10-minute range, leaving lots of room for the space jams that made the band so influential in its earlier years. Sounding alternately like Pink Floyd at its most dreamy, Steppenwolf, Kraftwerk and early Moody Blues, the band does have its own blend of art rock and heavy metal. Submerging the audience in waves of synthesizers, songs like "Out of the Shadows" and "Hawkwind" had a pleasant gravity of their own, but despite the packed crowd's enthusiasm, nearly two hours of such earnest bombast can leave one numb.