Show Review: The War on Drugs @ Stubb’s 9/28
Last night at Stubb’s was a night for a little hillbilly-esque rock and roll, as Philidelphia’s The War on Drugs made their way to Austin once again to play the hits off their stunning release, Lost In The Dream, which came out to great praise earlier this year. A fair number of folks eventually turned up for this Sunday night show, albeit, mostly after the opening band, Califone, were halfway through their set. Read more about how the night unfolded after the jump.
As I mentioned, Chicago natives, Califone, took the stage at Stubb’s a little before 8:00pm to a less than half full outside crowd, which was pretty disappointing—look people, you paid over twenty bucks for this ticket, don’t you want to get your money’s worth and see two great bands and not just the Headliner? Regardless of the less than mediocre crowd, Califone didn’t seem to mind and doled out some of their experimental rock. They opened their set heavily with the squall of intentional feedback and gritty guitars, which was an interesting way to begin. Most of the crowd apparently didn’t feel the same, and clearly weren’t paying too much attention to the group of gentlemen on stage. However, as their set progressed, they picked up to crowd friendlier tunes, like most memorable “All My Friends Are Funeral Singers,” which won over the attention of the gathering crowd.
Then it was on to a quick wait and the main act, and Stubb’s finally felt as claustrophobic as ever when Adam Granduciel and Company took the stage. They opened in a blaze of energy with “Burning,” the electrical guitar buzzing hotly and loudly as the band got into their stride. This number was a little messier than I had hoped for, as the sound was a bit construed and the guitar engulfed every other instrument. Sadly, but thankfully, it served as a bit of a sacrificial tune because afterwards the both the band and the sound seemed to hit their stride.
From here on out, it was fairly smooth sailing. The band played hit after hit off their stunning most recent album, each wearing well in the live setting. It was definitively a new set—that is to say they played 8/10 of the tracks off Lost in the Dream. Among Crowd favorites was “An Ocean In Between The Waves,” in which the build of the song allowed everyone to dance and rock out along with Granduciel and the rest of the band, who were all giving their all on their respective instruments. Even in the softer moments on songs like “In Reverse,” the passion that these musicians have really came across as Granduciel’s vocals pushed through the lyrics to the front of the mix, letting them be the center of attention. This combination of loud jams and slow simmering tunes really made this band’s style shine, and gave us just what we came for on Sunday night. Thanks, The War on Drugs.
Post Show Shout-Outs: To the tall frat bros next to me that pushed their way to the near front after the opening band and blocked the people who had showed up when the doors open and then proceeded to talk about how they didn’t actually know more than two songs of the headliner—you’re pond scum. To the older couple that drunkenly stumbled in front of me right before the encore so they could, in essence, do-the-dirty—I wish the vomit you brought to my mouth could have somehow ended up on you. To the couple a little bit in front of me dancing hardcore while minding their personal space and the personal space of others around them—A+, Rock on forever.