Rotem Sivan, virtuosic guitar master, came to Chicago last night for an opening slot with White Denim. Throwing the term “jazz” in front of the word “guitar” might give some people pause, but there’s a good reason a rock band would want him to warm up their crowd. The stereotypical Lounge-style jazz does not interest Rotem Sivan.
Instead he and the others in his trio supply a mix of fusion jazz and noise rock filled with soaring guitar solos and ground-shaking bass lines. Most guitar players strum the strings and hold their fingers to make a chord; Rotem Sivan tears at the nylon and claws the fretboard like he’s stuck in a coffin after being buried alive.
He has an impressive setup between his pedal board and on-guitar pickups. Much of the show he was on his knees playing with different effects to bend the sound to his will. It was really interesting watching how he worked and the amount of effort he put in to play the way he wants.
Sivan has three albums available to hear and is constantly touring around the world. He currently resides in New York, where he plays often when he isn’t hitting festivals in various countries.