The Antlers with Port St. Willow, The Great Hall, September 25th, 2012

The Antlers

The Antlers in Vancouver at The Venue

In the words of LCD Soundsystem:  “I hear you and your band have sold your turntables, and bought guitars”. In a world of dubstep, laptops and Apple, The Antlers are a classic example of what live music should be. They cast a spell in their live shows, and hold a power over their audience.  It is very rare (at least for me) for a band to evoke such a strong emotional response, part of it I find, is where you were when the albums came out. Hospice for example is very clearly a themed album on death, loss and loss of love. If you were anywhere in the vicinity of those emotions and leaned on the album or Burst Apart as a crutch, seeing it live possesses you and transports you back into that time. Listening to the records, you are touched mostly by the lyrics and the arrangements, however it is the passion the play with at the live shows that affects me the most. Silberman and their touring guitarist/bassist Timothy Mislock rip through the guitar arrangements and you can see how The Antlers have grown together and  gained a more solid foundation in their music writing, as they changed up and added more to the older material.

The Antlers aren’t a band that write lyrics for the hell of it, and then just play them, because that’s what they enjoy doing. Vocalist and lyricist Peter Silberman, is earnest and lays these raw emotions out bare, making it seem like this is his only catharsis. Penning his most intimate of feelings his only release and playing them for the masses is almost like his tragic torture, once moved past those moments, he is forced to relive them and we through his power, are transported back with him every time.

The Antlers, at the Great Hall

The Antlers, at the Great Hall

It is this talent and power that draws me back to them every time, even though sitting through that hour and twenty minutes or so of musical bliss is also so emotionally taxing. The Antlers played a great mix off of Hospice, they called that part of the set “the Hospice block”, a good mix off of Undersea and from Burst Apart as well as some new jams. Having seen them in Vancouver just a week prior (the top picture is featured from that show, far better than any pictures I could get at Great Hall), I was pleasantly surprised that the set list wasn’t identical.

Port St. Willow opened for them, a music project by Nick Principe, a brooklyn based artist. He sings in a high falsetto, and his music carries lilting, haunting melodies.

If you have not yet seen The Antlers, and this review is your first impression, check out their live performance at KEXP (also the greatest online radio station, based out of Seattle).

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Posted on by lauren in Concerts

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