The Antlers, Port St. Willow @ Glasslands, Williamsburg 7/30/12
The westernmost block of Williamsburg, between S. 1st and S. 2nd, is coming off a riotous week, largely thanks to the DIY space located at (and named) 285 Kent Ave: Trash Talk and Odd Future one night, Grimes and A$AP Rocky just a few after, shirtlessness throughout. So let last night’s show at the venue next door, Glasslands, be the elegant and stately comedown to that spurt of sweat, grime, and piss, a sold out affair pairing bands of skyscraping, atmospheric rock for an ad hoc Falsetto Fest 2012: The crown princes of heady, head-voiced Brooklyn indie The Antlers, and their life (and style) compatriots, newcomers Port St. Willow.
The show was announced in earnest yesterday morning and sold out soon thereafter, because the Antlers had never before played Glasslands and, these days, make their business playing places quite a bit bigger. But the venue, with its pillowy cloud stage-art installation, is actually a perfect backdrop for a band that is so regularly called “soaring” (or “skyscraping,” even). And it’s ironic that the Antlers took to Glasslands’ clouds at a time when their lyrical imagery has gone far the opposite, taking them Undersea with a terrific EP of submerged, rippling, overdriven splendor. And that’s not to mention that back in the day, Glasslands stage backdrop was an entire underwater scene, replete with a huge, bearded Poseidon/Neptune glowering over the space; the Antlers missed that synchronicity entirely, but their nearly 90-minute set of songs, plumbing the depths of their previous, hailed releases, was poetic enough. The new material was less suffused and watery, more sharply dynamic than on record, which is typical of the Antlers’ surprisingly visceral post rock-dripping performances. People sang and swayed and got moist under the venue’s hanging humidity, and near the end of it all they learned their ticket purchases had raised $4,000 for Charity Water. If not synchronicity, than at least the Antlers 2012 are all about synergy. And making the world a more potable place.
As mentioned, the show was opened by Peter Silberman’s childhood friends and aesthetic-kin (and Cruel Summer honorees) Port St. Willow, who held their own within the night’s soprano-rock matrix; they did it with markedly less heft and ambient presence than the night’s headliners, but with Nick Principe’s flooring vocal ability and his writing on the Holiday LP, the band is calibrated to be a long enduring staple of the falsetto fest circuit. Keep tabs. Check Bandcamp.
Check out photos above by Jessica Amaya, and nab a Port St. Willow track below:
Here’s “Crest” from last night:
And some of the new Antlers, which is out via Anti-.