Concert Review: the Antlers, Horseshoe Tavern, Sept 24

Don’t believe the hype. But in this case, do.

The Antlers came through Toronto last night for the second time in less than two months. When they came back in July, opening for Frightened Rabbit, puzzled concert-goers had their index fingers shoved up their ears (me and my bleeding eardrums were intrigued). When they came back to the Horseshoe last night, this time as the headliner, it was clear they had established a legitimately strong fan base already. Throughout Holly Miranda’s set I heard multiple people buzzing about the Hospice release. They weren’t buzzing about how fuckable the lead singer was and they weren’t buzzing about an overplayed single. In otherwords, this was not what I would deem “scene buzz” akin to what I have seen at shows like Camera Obscura or Passion Pit. Audience members were actually talking about Hospice as an album and I doubt many of them were there because of Pitchfork approval despite the Horseshoe’s “BROOKLYN Pitchfork Approved Indie Hipster Rock” tagline (Pitchfork has officially become the equivalent of Roger Ebert’s “thumbs up” in the non-mainstream music world).

Couldn’t find any photos from the Horseshoe so here’s a still from chromewaves at Criminal Minds

Thursday night’s concert was an illustrative testimonial to the beauty of Hospice, one of the front-running picks for my best of 2009 releases. More importantly, it appears the Antlers have mastered the art of ambiance versus (in Wade’s words) “obnoxious loudness”. The nu-gazey transitions between songs lost their crunchy cilia-singeing qualities we witnessed during July’s show and became appropriately sonic pregnant pauses in-between their songs. Two, Bear, Sylvia, and Epilogue all blew us away. Lead singer Peter Silberman’s wailings have been coined intensely Buckley-esque, and farbeit for me to disagree. As everyone else has already noted, it is hard to believe these guys are all barely breaking the 21-year old mark. Although Silberman is universally touted as the genius behind Hospice’s haunted journey, it is clear that drummer Michael Learner and keyboardist Darby Cicci have contributed a lot to the cohesiveness of the band.

Chatting with them afterwards with Holly Miranda’s (of the Jealous Girlfriends) guitarist Timothy “Timmy” Mislock who also plays with George Wilson and Joe Jurewicz (formerly of Dirty on Purpose) in Neckbeard Telecaster, it seems French Kiss is treating the Antlers very well indeed. Their press agent Kip Kouri also represented Dirty on Purpose, with both them and the Jealous Girlfriends covering legs of tours with the Wedding Present’s North American tour last October. If this past paragraph is all a jumbled mess to you, and it likely is for 99.9% of anyone bothering to read this, all you need to know is that a) All roads lead to the Wedding Present, and b) Every band in Brooklyn apparently knows each other intimately. Oh yeah, and the next time the Antlers come to town, they’re staying with me.


Check out drummer Michael Learner’s other other work with Bell Horses.

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Posted on by Allison in Concerts, Everything

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One Response to Concert Review: the Antlers, Horseshoe Tavern, Sept 24

  1. Pingback: Concert Review: The Antlers, February 16, Phoenix | The Panic Manual

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