The Antlers played yet another fantastic show on Friday night in the basement of the First Unitarian Church. While the basement isn’t my favorite setting for a show, the small space suited the intimate performance.
Montreal quintet The Luyas opened things up with an enchanting set. Their sound is so unique, and it’s almost uneasy at times, but it’s this little bit of uncertainty that makes it work. Jessie Stein fronted the group on vocals and moodswinger, employing a large variety of vocal styles and effects that really contributed to the performance. The band, which includes both former and current members of Arcade Fire, really captured the crowd’s attention. It was great to see an opener get so much love. The group clearly enjoyed themselves as they whistled on tracks and switched instruments a few times. They created a really nice minor sound between the French horn and keyboards that was a distinct blend of happy and eerie. The mood of the whole thing was enhanced by the subdued lighting coming solely from a few circular dressing room bulbs.
The Antlers began their set with a couple of tracks from Hospice that made the entire audience swoon. Hospice was once described as “at once the simplest and most immense album of the year”, and this is a great way to describe their live show as well. The three-piece group rarely gets technically complicated with their music, but they somehow produce a sound and feeling that is just massive. Having debuted two new songs the previous night in Boston, they sprinkled these and other new works in throughout their set. They were a bit more upbeat than their previous material, and while I thought I might want the group to stick to their original sound, the new energy came as a pleasant surprise. The audience was a varied mixture of younger and older fans, but it was a good crowd in that everyone was friendly and engaged in the show. Seeing The Antlers live is a true experience, I highly recommend checking them out next time they’re in your area.
Have a listen to two songs from the night’s artists, including an amazing cover of The xx’s “VCR” courtesy of The Antlers.