By Amrit Singh
Last night’s L train ride to Williamsburg was just meant to be a relaxing night off, to see one of my favorite bands play. And then I watched said band mesh, wreck, and reconstruct myriad musical idioms, like always, and so now this is happening. I’m just going to echo BV here; there’s very little I can say about this show, or Dirty Projectors live, that I haven’t gushed before. But for the sake of posterity, and for the sake of our year-end Best Shows list, I need to memorialize last night: Dirty Projectors killed it.
The show sold out at the door, and thankfully I didn’t have to suffer through the best show of the year I didn’t see 2.0. They worked through mostly Rise Above stuff, along with their now well worn reinventions of New Attitude’s “Fucked For Life” and “Imagine It.” (There was also “New Attitude” itself, which was how Scott and I brought in 2008.) No “Hyperballad,” sadly. But between the staples came some new stuff, including one tune called “That’s My Move.” (It sounds like Longstreth’s extending the Rise Above-incarnation of the band’s mold, at times poppier as in “That’s My Move,” at others an even more jaw dropping meld of time shifts, snaking guitar lines, and those flaring, otherworldly vocal arrangements).
The other day I was trying to convert a friend to the band’s ways, and I joked that the crowds at their NYC shows last year comprised “72% people in bands, 24% music writers, with the rest dabbling in both,” so it bears mentioning that there were no lines of sight in MHOW last night without some member of the indie rock all-star softball team: Grizzly Bear, Battles, Deerhunter, the National, Apes & Androids, even some guys from Guster. Dirty Projectors shows are like band camp, or like some sort of a master class. Nobody’s going to fully cop the style, but everybody’s in to take their notes. I’m just glad the rest of us have caught on. Anyway, I didn’t bring my camera (off night, remember?), so thanks Jen for taking that picture for me.