Concert Review: The Antlers, February 16, Phoenix

The Antlers, Phoenix, Toronto, ON

Toronto – I have a bad habit of skipping opening bands. I just absolutely hate waiting in between sets. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Mainly, when a band I really like play as the openers. Tuesday night was just a night, when Brooklyn’s The Antlers opened up for The Editors. This was what I believe The Antler’s third time in Toronto in the past year, having opened up for Frightened Rabbit last July and having their own show in September. As you can see, Panic Manual was there for both of them, and we’ll be there for them when they open up for the National in May. I guess we are fans of this band, or we like depressing music. Maybe it’s a combination of both. Maybe I just like bands named after animal parts. another.

Having been on various best of lists on both the interweb and real life publications, the crowd for the Antlers had definitely grown significantly since their last visit. The trio took the stage shortly after nine. The Phoenix was already 2/3 full. The drummer was set up in the middle and the larger stage seemed to work a lot better for them. Much to my chagrin, the Antlers only played five songs during their set, but man, they killed it. All the songs, from opening tune Kettering to the closer Wake prove that simply, the Antlers are starting to master the whole ‘semi distorted’ quiet buildup loud payoff indie rock sound.

“Two” was anthemic, started off slowly drenched in organs (generated by synth of course) and then transforming into an almost dancey rocker number. It was definitely different then the more subdued album version, but this version sounded quite organic and you had a bunch of fans trying their best to sing along to the song, despite the slightly different pacing of the vocals and the fact that it’s has extremely personal and dark lyrics. I love this song, and from the sound of the crowd, so did a lot of people. You kind of get a chuckle when some people at the concert are singing along to lyrics like

Daddy was an asshole, he fucked you up
Built the gears in your head, now he greases them up
And no one paid attention when you just stopped eating
“Eighty-seven pounds!” and this all bears repeating

Peter Silbermann’s vocals are quite a treat and even if sometimes the volume a bit lower, it’s hard not to come away with his impressive talents. This is man who has endured some hardships. I hope that they play their own show sometime soon so I can take them in it’s entirety. I guess they are playing SXSW. They recently premiered their song Bear on Pitchfork, the same song that silenced a chatty Phoenix crowd:

All in all, they were stunning and you can not ask for more from an opener.

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.