10/10 The Walkmen Show @ The Parish
Opening the show was California outfit The Little Ones, who have recently taken leaps and bounds into the indie spectrum. They opened up with a cast of smiling musicians, cheerily playing to what they considered their largest turnout in Austin. During the opening act, one could look across the crowd and see various heads bobbing along to the tunes. For a few brief moments, they had won over the crowd; but, as the set went on, the music grew repetitive, and everyone eagerly anticipated the headlining act.
Now, recent output for The Walkmen has left some skeptical in regards to their positioning in the current musical lexicon, but the band took to the stage Friday night prepared to win over the hearts and minds of everyone in the audience. The floor belonged to the New York troubadours; in fact, the night belonged to the band.
Initially, they started off a little bit slowly, playing some of the more subdued moments off their most recent effort You and Me, which, surprisingly, featured Hamilton sporting a guitar. You could feel the pressure building in the second floor room as the band meticulously carried themselves through each song, focusing intently on exact replication of album sound.
All of a sudden came “In the New Year,” off the most recent release. Hamilton Leithauser belted out the chorus with such convincing emotion that the entire room quickly turned into putty in the hands of The Walkmen. From that moment on, the night was undoubtedly theirs.
Despite his lack of interaction with the crowd, which could be construed as seeming disinterested, you have to admire the set of pipes on frontman Hamilton Leithauser. He hits each note from the bottom of his stomach, screaming his words towards the crowds, and on this particular evening, the power to control the audience belonged entirely to him.
Of course, the band played crowd favorite, “The Rat,” which had everyone bouncing, shaking the floor of The Parish as it always does with supreme crowd participation. More importantly, however, was watching how much attention to detail the band used with regards to their songs, especially the new ones. One would be hard fought to find a band that sounds as tight, or has more focus, when it comes to playing their songs in the live format. Supreme professionalism should always be admired.
All in all, the band walked off the stage at the end of the night winning everyone over, and assuring all listeners that The Walkmen are still a force to be reckoned with these days.
The photography was done by ATH friend Eric Uhlir. Check out some of Eric’s other great work on Flickr.