Show Review: The Drums @ The Parish (10/23)
The last time I caught the Drums, I was a bit skeptical about their live show. While entertaining, there were some discrepancies in the live sound, so I wasn’t sure of what I would catch at The Parish on Sunday night. For the most part, I left feeling moderately surprised.
Opening the evening was io Echo, a band that has very little information around the Internet, so my expectations were next to none. Immediately you could tell there would be a certain bit of spectacle, as the singer Joanna Gikas had a huge set of pipes, fitting for the great sound at the Parish. As lights flashed, and hair flew about the stage, I slowly began to grow distinerested. If anything, the sounded like The Big Pink, with only a more operatic singer…for some reason, it just didn’t come across well. While I appreciate the voice, it just grew to be too much, rendering the act far too mundane for my enjoyment. For me, I can only describe it as music fitting for an MTV show on drug addiction and poor choices. But, at least the Drums were next.
Last time around, I definitely accused the band of dialing it, using backing tracks to influence both sound and vocals when the group played at the ND, but I can honestly say that I know for a fact that the majority of Jonathan Pierce’s vocals were not pre-recorded. For instance, when they played “Money” there definitely could have been some moments where you call shenanigans, instead, he calmed his vocals, not going for the high pitch. Throughout the night there were just little bits of imperfections that I was looking for, and they definitely were present; this isn’t to say that his voice wasn’t spot on, as it sounded great.
Personally, the highlight of the evening were the songs that came from the excellent Portamento. In comparison, they had a darker bit of pop to them, which showed their maturation as a group; I think it makes them more than just a one-dimensional surf-pop band. They filled the middle of their set with such tracks, and I can easily say that these have grown to be my favorite tracks from the Drums at this point in time, with “Book of Revelation” coming off great live.
Jonathan Pierce, though only in possession of two moves, has excellent stage presence, and his energy never seems to fail him. To top it off, he seemed extremely gracious, happy to be in front of his adoring fans. The band kept up the energy and the excitement throughout, even though they might have included one too many backing tracks (I’m looking at you imaginariy bass player). When I left, I definitely had more respect for them as a live act, so that’s a great thing to take from the show…allowing me to continue loving their records.
More pics available over at the photo site…