Show Review: The Drums @ The Parish 10/19
This weekend in Austin lived up to its title of “live music capital of the world” to the extreme; each night we were given not just a taste of sweet jams, but whole menus to choose from. Sunday night at The Parish had New York’s The Drums on their last U.S tour stop, providing us with a night filled with dancing and singing along to the band’s hits, new and old. Brooklyn’s Beverly served as the openers for the evening, offering up their jangly no-nonsense rock to amp up the crowd. Read more about how the night unfolded after the jump.
Beverly, led by front lady Drew Citron, took the stage to squalling feedback. After the four members got settled in their collective spots, the band started their cool and sleek raw pop. And then they didn’t stop— I was struck by how quickly and effortlessly the band moved from track to track. The rest of the crowd seemed to feel the same way, letting the dueling electric guitars cut through the air and propel them to tap their feet and frantically bob their heads to the often quick beats. Their dynamic really worked for this crowd as Citron and company blazed through hits from their album Careers, the straight to it, no frills rock not allowing the attention be taken from them for even a moment. Song after song they kept up the quick pacing and the cheers kept growing louder. Well played, Beverly.
After a quick break, The Drums were up, emerging from a mix of thick smoke-machine fog and eerie opening music. Last to enter the stage was Johnny Pierce, with his blonde bowl cut, red shiny bomber jacket and a faraway look in his eyes. The opened with a slow number, a single stage light illuminating Pierce from the floor of the stage, calling to imagery of a man telling spooky stories by flashlight. It was hypnotizing to say the least—the rest of the band seemed to disappear as they were engulfed with layers of fog upon fog, making it feel like it was just us and Johnny and his perpetually-in-motion body, swaying eerily to the slow beat.
This crowd was hyped to the max—while The Drums weren’t originally slated to play any Texas shows for the promotion of their latest album, Encyclopedia, but fan demand brought the group to Austin as well as El Paso to play sold out shows. At the end of the first number, while Pierce looked out in the darkness of the crowd, perched at the very end of the stage, he was greeted with an enormous amount of cheers. While I shit on show goers a lot for being the worst, this was one rare instance that the audience did well. Talking was saved for in between numbers and dancing was brought to a maximum, the floor of The Parish was shaking the most I’ve ever felt it shake, especially during the band’s most popular hits like “Best Friend” or “Let’s Go Surfing. ” They doled out number after number, speeding through their steadily growing catalogue of indie pop dance jams, Pierce’s steady sway, dancing, and brilliant vocal performance helping everyone maintain their high energy. This was also contributed to by the band sounding really great too, fleshing out their simple songs perfectly in the live setting.
To top off the night, the band brought on Citron for vocal help during the encore, which added a nice little twist to Pierce’s impressive and wailing vocals. Pierce ended the night with placing his wedding band on his finger from his pocket and dedicating the last ballad, “Down By The Water” to his husband of one year who was somewhere in the audience. The number was a powerful demonstration of Pierce’s vocals as well as a perfect snapshot of what the band is all about. Their songs may talk about seemingly flat content, but they give out relatable emotions for their fans to latch onto. The Drums are a straightforward and honest band that plays exciting live shows. What more can you want?