the antlers

Concert Review: The Antlers, Mod Club, June 27

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | Leave a comment

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In the past half decade, the Antlers have carved a nice little space for themselves in the indie rock world. From the emotionally devastating album Hospice to the horn enthused chilled tones of recently released album Familiars, the group has rewarded those who are patient enough to listen through their intricate and methodically built up arrangements with some truly unique music.

New album in hand, the trio (plus an additional musician) took their live show to a sold out Mod Club on Friday night. Consisting of mostly material from their latest album Familiars, the Antler’s set on Friday introduced us to the dream like rock nature of their new record. As with all Antlers songs, all the new material were laid out in slow, ever building arrangements. If theres ever a band that really goes by their own pace, it’s The Antlers. The new material, which lacks the emotional weight of their previous albums, still sounded good, and the inclusion of the trumpet to their music added a new wrinkle to their previous sound and is a good indication that the group is exploring new sounds with each album. Always a good sign.

As always, the crowd (myself included) was just a little more excited for the back catalog portion of the concert and the opening notes of the track Sylvia was met with particular delight. Pete Silbermann has one of the best voices in indie rock today, and it is amazing to see how he can switch from sounding like an angel to a man who sounds like he is at his most desperate in a matter of moments. Something about the Antler tracks just resonates with people that most other bands cannot achieve. I don’t know how to explain it. If you can describe the Antlers music, you can say they are a band that plays their tracks with no wasted notes. The way that the band plays their songs make it seem every chord, drum beat, word and note seems all part of a carefully constructed madness. A truly excellent live performance, even if they didn’t play Two.

Concert Review: The Antlers, June 14, Mod Club

Posted on by Allison in Concerts | Leave a comment

The Antlers, Phoenix, Toronto, ON

Toronto – Two years can mean a lot these days. For a band that has enjoyed any level of hype, it can spell catapulting success or cast virtual amnesia amongst today’s fickle youth. That is, if you don’t give them a reason to remember you.

In the case of The Antlers, no one has worked harder to stay in our memory banks. It seems that their non-stop touring of Hospice has worked, which leads me to believe that Frenchkiss is a better label than most, and that their agent is doing his job in terms of getting them dates and selling out shows. When we first met them in 2009, they were opening for Frightened Rabbit, and as predicted, have become a legitimate opener in their own right.

I’m pleased to announce that their sophomore effort Burst Apart has very much cemented them as the real deal. The new songs sound comparitavely flat now, and I’m happy there was a new (and much needed) energy injected into the show from the new release. Ricky will disagree with me here, but I felt the slowed down parts of Two and Bear felt like uncomfortable inertia.

Fortunately for us, the vast majority of the show featured some impressive sonic guitars, presence-commanding keyboard (their keyboardist has really kicked it up a few notches), and wailing castrato vocals done well. Frenchkiss label mates Passion Pit should be taking notes from young Peter Silberman.

Setlist

Parentheses – Burst Apart
Kettering – Hospice
No Widows – Burst Apart
I Don’t Want Love – Burst Apart
French Exit – Burst Apart
Rolled Together – Burst Apart
Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out – Burst Apart
Bear – Hospice
Hounds – Burst Apart
Putting the Dog to Sleep – Burst Apart

Encore:
Two – Hospice
Corsicana – Burst Apart
Wake – Hospice

The Antlers – Parentheses by Frenchkiss

SXSW Preview: The Antlers

Posted on by Ricky in South By Southwest | Leave a comment

The Antlers, Phoenix, Toronto, ON

Toronto – I saw The Antlers three times last year – opening up for the Editors, at SXSW and opening up for the National at Massey Hall. Needless to say, I am a large fan of their depressing wall of sound music. I didn’t have them slated for my initial SXSW schedule because I thought they were doing that relentless touring thing and that they were still touring for their excellent major label debut album, Hospice.

Luckily, I was wrong (seems to happen all the time) and the Brooklyn trio are back with a new record, entitled Burst Apart. The record is due to drop May 10th off Frenchkiss Records. I, for one, am extremely excited about it and hope for lead singer Peter Silberman’s sake that it’s not as much of a downer as the previous one was. The Antlers will be premiering their record as part of NPR’s showcase at The Parish in Austin on March 17th at 4:00pm. They’ll also be playing many other sets. Here are all the set information

Wed, March 16 @ 12:00am: Frenchkiss Showcase
The Parish – 214 East 6th St
w/ The Dodos, Young Man

Thurs, March 17 @ 4pm: NPR Party
The Parish – 214 East 6th St
w/ Tune-Yards, The Joy Formidable, Colin Stetson

Friday, March 18 @ 7pm: Sennheiser Party (<- any chance of free headphones?)
The Stage on Sixth – 508 E. 6th St
w/ The Luyas

If you are in Austin, check these guys out.

The Antlers – Two (Buffetlibre remix) by Buffetlibre

Festival Review: Lollapalooza 2010, Grant Park, August 8 – Day 3

Posted on by Paul in Concerts | Leave a comment

X Japan

Chicago – What’s a music festival without a little rain?  Well … it’s a nicer day, for one thing.  Luckily, the rain ended by 1:00 making the rest of the day pleasant and sunny, albeit a bit muddy.  However, being a guy who wants to get the most out of a music festival, I was there bright and early … in the rain. 

The Antlers got the Budweiser stage going for the day.  Having seen them once before at Massey Hall, I wondered beforehand how their lush, moody music would go over in an outdoor festival setting.  Of course it went over perfectly … because of the rain, not in spite of it.  Frontman Peter Silberman put it best: “Thanks for coming out in the rain.  We’re from New York so we’re used to it.  We’re  not really a surf pop band so this is probably better.”  They played to a smallish but rapt audience, some with umbrellas, some without, but even those without didn’t mind getting a little wet.  The Antler’s set led to the only real scheduling mix up of the day.  As they finished playing “Two,” I figured their set must be done as they had like 2 minutes left in their set and The Antlers definitely do not play two minute songs.  As they launched into “Wake,” I thought, “Hmmm… how will this play out?”  They continued to play, going slightly past their set and into that of The Dodos, who were playing the stage right across from them immediately afterwards.  The Dodos, not wanting to lose out on their alotted time, just started playing at the same time.  I’m sure this wasn’t an intentional snub on the part of The Antlers, and for all I know they had to start their set late, but it was a bit of a blemish on an otherwise well organized schedule. 

The Antlers

I wanted to check out The Cribs for one primary reason – to see Johnny Marr play.  Not being overly familiar with them, I figured it would be a good set, but it turned out to be really good.  They won me over with their high energy performance.  Definitely one of the highlights of the day.

The Cribs 

The other big highlight of the day as well as a pleasant surprise was X Japan, a Japanese metal band formed in 1982 who play an interesting mix of power metal, prog, glam metal and old school speed metal.  In other words, they stuck out like a sore thumb on the bill. 

They broke up in 1997 and are currently on a reunion tour.  This was their first ever American show.  I knew very little about the band going in and was a little bummed that they were on opposite Yeasayer, who I really wanted to see, but I figured I can see Yeasayer again and I’m fairly certain I won’t get a chance to see X Japan again.  And what can I say?  This band was glorious.  They pretty much match Lady Gaga and Empire of the Sun for over the top theatricality.  As they entered to some piped in intro music, a small group of dedicated hardcore fans cheered loudly.  Shortly thereafter, many more of us were instantly converted into fans.  My favourite bandmember to watch was drummer Yoshiki, who entered wearing some sort of robe, wore a neckbrace throughout the show, and switched between drums and piano.  He also performed on the 1994 Kiss tribute album Kiss My Ass.  I bought that album on cassette back then and thought, “Who the hell is Yoshiki?”  Now I know.  Rather than say too much about their performance, I’ll just let these videos of their performance do the talking.  “We Are!” “X!”

After X, I figured I’d stay in that vicinity and check out Erykah Badu.  Big mistake.  While I was interested in seeing her and while she sounded good when she finally came out, little did I know that she wouldn’t even grace us with her presence on stage until 15 minutes into her set!  Those 15 minutes were filled first with her DJ playing other people’s music to warm up the crowd (which is fair enough since the Japanese metal that preceded her probably didn’t fit the mood she wanted to create, but still…) and her backup band jamming on some tune for awhile.  Had i known she would take this long, I probably would have gone to check something else out (which I eventually did).  Badu would later reappear onstage with Cypress Hill during their set, and Cypress Hill put on a great show.  Opening strong with “How I Could Just Kill A Man,” they played a mix of old and new songs, including classics like “Insane In The Brain.” “I Wanna Get High.” and “Hits From The Bong,” the performance of which actually involved them taking hits from a bong onstage.  

Cypress Hill

MGMT played just before Cypress Hill at the other end of the park to one of the largest crowds of the day.  While Sarah wasn’t overly impressed with their performance at Coachella, and Ricky echoed those sentiments after seeing their most recent Toronto show, I would have to say that my opinion differs slightly.  Looking a bit like mid ’60s Bob Dylan, Andrew VanWyngarden led the band through a selection of songs from their latest Congratulations, plus a few older tunes.  The songs sounded good, and the band was tight.  I couldn’t see anything wrong with their performance … but I do agree somewhat that it was still a bit of an underwhelming performance for me at least, probably partly because I was looking forward to Cypress Hill, Soundgarden, and Arcade Fire and partly because they weren’t as over the top as X Japan. 

I split the rest of the night between Soundgarden and Arcade Fire.    Both bands delivered solid sets that satisfied for different reasons – Soundgarden primarily as nostalgia.  As I watched them play I had forgotten how heavy songs like “Jesus Christ Pose” and “Gun” sounded.  Sadly, I left to catch the last part of Arcade Fire before they played Black Hole Sun, but there’s a whole bunch of videos of it on youtube anyways, so I guess that’ll do.  Arcade Fire sounded great too, closing out with a few classics like “Rebellion (Lies),” “Keep The Car Running,” and “Wake Up.”  You guys are great,” said Win Butler, clearly impressed with the response he was getting from the crowd.  “Usually at the end of festivals, people are burned out, but you guys must have been pacing yourselves.”  It’s all about moderation I guess.

Soundgarden