the antlers

Concert Review: The Antlers, June 8th, Massey Hall

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | 4 Comments

Toronto – Just like a really long Quentin Tarantino movie, I’m breaking this concert review into two parts.

The other day, whilst at work in the middle of some hardcore coding (my day job), something dawned on me.. Tuesday night will be my fourth time seeing The Antlers. Have I seen any band more then four times? I then quickly switched to this site, took a look at my concert list, did some thinking, did some counting, and quickly realized – no, I have never seen a band more then 4 times in a row. I then checked my fantasy sports teams, read some random wikipedia articles, watched some 80s tv sitcom intros on youtube, made some snarky comments on people’s status updates on facebook, wrote a post on the blog and then I went back to more hardcore coding. It’s so weird to think that Tuesday night was the fourth time I had seen the band the Antlers, seeing how at this time last year, I had never heard of them. I believe it was Allison who first realized how good this Brooklyn band was, and how great their debut album Hospice was. I was then slowly converted, ever so skeptical of my fellow PM writer’s musical taste. Well, as it turns out, she was right and I have taken to this band like a mongoose to a cobra.

So Tuesday night was my fourth time seeing the Antlers. They were at Massey Hall opening for The National. I had arrived earlier then expected, and thus was able to soak in the atmosphere of a somewhat empty Massey Hall. The architecture in that place is quite nice. I like the nice arching roof. I was reminded of that fight scene in Bioshock. You know the one. The band took the stage shortly after 8 to a pretty empty crowd. It was a good thing that the lights were dimmed because then the band could imagine that they were playing to a packed house. Much like a horse with blinders.

The band played a stellar 45 minute set, featuring the songs from Hospice. It was great to hear them in the Massey Hall setting, because unlike their quiet-ish album, the Antlers live set consist of a massive wall of sound. There is a constant feedback kinda sound (much like a jet engine) throughout the set save for the more tender moments (Bear, some parts of Two). The set seemed to start off slowly, as the band was feeling their way out on the massive stage. Massey Hall’s stage is a large space, especially for a 3 person setup. They seemed to hit their stride with the song Bear, which as always, was great. The outro for the song featured about five minutes of noise layering on top of more noise that tested the volume limits of the venue. I think the crowd who didn’t know the band was in kind of shock over the amount of volume that the threesome was generated. By this time, the place was starting to fill up.

Their standout track Two followed shortly after. As I had stated in my sxsw review of this band, this song live is a bit different then on record. The song starts off with a choir-ish oos before the music plays and then is followed by a brisk chance of tempo that moves the song along at a much quicker pace then that of the album, still really good. Ending the set with the song Wake, the band delivered a great and heavy set that wowed anyone who was there, as evident by the massive applause that they got after their set.

I don’t think you can ask for anymore for an opener.

The Antlers – Bear by gpferrero

SXSW Review: The Antlers, March 19, Galaxy Room Backyard

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, South By Southwest | 2 Comments

The Antlers, Phoenix, Toronto, ON

Austin – This is the fourth time we’ve reviewed The Antlers on the Panic Manual, so it’s quite possible to say we like them quite a bit. Friday night was a great source of frustration for me, as once again, I was foiled in my attempt to see She & Him. The lineup was extremely long and my attempt to casually walk through the side entrance pretending to be someone important ultimately failed. I then retreated to Esther’s Follie to check out some comedy acts to cheer me up. Once fully cheered, I decided I liked nothing more then to hear some familiar depressing music. It was my emotional roller coaster night I guess. Midnight seemed like a perfect time for the Antlers to play. It’s dark outside and they play dark music. They were playing the French Kiss showcase, which also featured bands like An Horse, Suckers and Les Savy Favs.

Just like their opening set for the Editors in February, the Antlers played only a handful of songs – five to be exact, and just like that concert a month ago, I was equally captivated by their music. This time, I was slightly less captivated as the sound system pretty much sucked balls for some reason. Still, it’s always a pleasure to see Pete Silbermann sing. The man does not hit all his notes, and somehow every version of Two comes out sounding a bit different, but the intensity and heart behind the voice makes it all okay somehow. The Antlers have become experts at the building up songs. The music starts off quietly, maybe a few beeps, a few boops. Some slowly paced drum beats and stellar guitar feedback and then the next thing you know, Silbermann’s wailing on his guitar, the synth has become deafening and theres a massive wall of sound hitting you square in the face. It’s quite the treat experiencing it. This wasn’t the best set of theirs I’ve seen, I thought the some of the tenderness that is Bear was lost amongst the chattering and the crappy sound system. Still, a band I would recommend seeing live.

Here’s a crappy video I took during their set. This video camera is good a picking up vocals, bad at picking up noise, so don’t think this is acoustic performance by any measure:

ps. the picture was not from sxsw, but from February because our photographer Gary decided to take a break.

SXSW Primers – Bands A to Z

Posted on by Ricky in Everything, South By Southwest | 1 Comment

panic manual awkward handshake

Toronto – Here is an A to Z list of bands playing at SXSW. I’ve even been kind enough to link each band to their respective myspace/website so you can check them out*. Apologies if I missed any letters, English isn’t my first language.

Antlers – I might see these guys again, although it’d be weird to see their depressing music in the clear afternoon light

Broken Bells – Danger Mouse + The guy from the Shins? Yes please. Will this album only kind of change Natalie Portman’s life?

Chew Lips – English dance-pop act has Josh blowing his load with each single they release. Might check them out.

Dr. Dog – Lo-fi folk band keeps on churning out consistently good albums. New album Shame drops sometime in April

Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now! – I had no idea Eddie Argos (of Art Brut) had a new band. It has to be great. In Argos I trust.

Fanfarlo -They cancelled their show in Toronto in December. I now get to see this London band at a warmer venue. Awesome. Luna is an amazing track.

Gay Witch Abortion – I have never heard of this band, but look at that band name.

Holy Fuck – This time, when I see them, I won’t confuse this Toronto electronic act with Polaris winning Toronto hardcore band Fucked Up

Imaad Wasif – 24 Terrorist character or Canadian born Indian singer songwriter? Check out his show and decide.

Jj – Where did these Swedes come from? From Africa to Malaga was such a good chill tune, but their new album sounds more or less the same.

Kyle Lee – Is this a Chinese Texan hip hop artist? I don’t know, but he has an Asian last name so here’s hoping.

Local Natives – They impressed many people last year, a breakout album later, these guys are ready to rule Earth.

Marina and the Diamonds – I wrote about them already, but she’ll be very good live.

Neon Indian – Hipster ratio will be off the charts for this HRO fan favorite.

Orquestra Contempor̢nea De Olinda РBrazillian worldly music. Gotta check out some worldly stuff for Mark

Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Shoegazey throwback band played about a billion shows last year, I didn’t catch them then. I won’t make the same mistake again. Maybe.

Quest for Fire – No idea who they are but they are the first band with the letter Q in it I see. Clever marketing yo.

Russian Futurists – Had a blast seeing them at Wavelengths despite short set. Should have equal blast at SXSW despite short set.

Spoon – Austin’s favourite band open SXSW at Stubbs with what undoubtedly will be a great performance.

Toro Y Moi – One of the first big discoveries of 2010, this dude will bring some chilled tunes to Austin.

Ume – Frank from Chromewaves really enjoys this bands live set. Who am I to argue.

VV Brown – Wonderfully talented retro pop sounding VV Brown will bring what is surely a great set to SXSW.

Walkmen – 7 or 8 years later, I still love the song The Rat

Xx – They continually seem to have bad luck, hope these guys make it to SXSW

You Say Party! We Say Die! – BC band looks to build on the success of XXXX here in Austin. Laura Palmer’s Prom..what a song

Zeus - Arts and Craft band is about to hit the stratusphere with their debut (?) album.

*(it’s also really good for search engines)

« Previous   1 2 3