Last night P&C’s humble blogger JRW and Thom Lau got out to the House of Blues for a downright rousing gig featuring two brilliant Brooklyn bands–Antlers and The National. It was almost impossible to be able to put into words, and humble blogger made an absolute arse (to use his Thom’s term) of herself on the walk to the bus with Thom after, as she had no good material for her brain was a whirl, still trying to wrap around the idea of what had happened 20 minutes before, and inevitably coughed out some weak discourse on David Spade. Oh, how to go back. But apparently humble blogger is in OK company; Thom Lau claims to make an arse out of himself, too. Without further babble..he reviews the gig…
DISCLAIMER: In writing about music, there is a dangerous balance between writing in vague overarching terms like stating a band are “good”…and going overboard with the extended metaphors and effusive descriptions. Where I’m from (Ireland), the latter is commonly associated with and referred to as “being an arse”. Last nights gig was so amazingly mind bottling that I’m afraid I might just have to let loose and go deep into “arse” territory (no innuendo intended, kinda). And I’m only even going to talk about the support act, though The National were pretty damn awesome too.
In my life, I’ve had the misfortune of witnessing a family member die in a hospice. So perhaps it’s no surprise that I, like many, find The Antlers’ concept album, “Hospice”, an emotional train wreck. It’s beautifully filled with a story of sorrow, pain and bitterness. Listening to it is like reading its painful tale on 500 year old parchment, full of character and history yet so damaged and fragile it might fall apart in your fingers.
The Antlers live are a completely different animal to The Antler’s on your headphones. Peter Silberman takes the anguish from his opus, balls his hands into fists and plunges them into chest to pull out his heart on stage. This isn’t a broken sensitive soul, this is viscera and violence. Silberman wails and screams like a man being tortured and interrogated, he hammers at his guitar frantically, crouching, writhing and shaking.
The Antler’s wield an impressive sound for only a 3 piece band. There’s a storm of sound coming from the organs and guitar, soaking you with weight and mercilessly pulling you with rip currents while bashing you with waves. Many of the albums songs are rendered almost unrecognizable in this new raw exuberance, however, the single “Two” is left mostly intact and draws a great response from the crowd. For a support band, The Antlers are definitely punching well above their weight. They are delivering knockout blows.
If you haven’t checked out The Antlers’ album I encourage you to do so but if you have a chance to see them live you should get your shoes on and start sprinting to the venue right now.