cmj: the antlers at music hall of williamsburg
  • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2009

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I caught The Antlers at the Music Hall of Williamsburg for the CMJ Brooklyn Vegan Showcase, and even though it was a chilly Tuesday night, the show was sold out. I had a little too much fun earlier and ended up at the venue really super late; a solid hour after they stopped excepting badges. So I had to pull out my trusty plan B: run really fast through the smoker side door (never fails). Anyway, I've been hearing mixed reviews about The Antlers live, but front man Peter Silberman was absolutely electric on stage. I have to admit, I do understand the varied reactions the band receives; they are difficult to access if you don't know what you're getting into. Their sophomore album Hospice, which is what they performed, is both captivating and highly disturbing. Cancer and death motifs aside, the real pulse of the record lies in the frustration of not being able to pinpoint what exactly is wrong here, even though you know something is very out of place. With an eerie, errant sadness, Hospice encapsulates the un-logic of loss with a jarring energy that slowly creeps and builds into this emotional paranoia that leaves me pretty speechless.

Alright, I know that might sound depressing, but seeing Silberman perform the album live was definitely an experience; I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I think ninety percent of the show his eyes were closed and looked like he was either about to cry or break something. Don't get me wrong, I love a good jump up and down happy time rock concert, The Antlers are just a completely different breed of live show. I think they were getting mixed reviews on Tuesday because the showcase was a really bizarre lineup. They were sandwiched between the angelic folk chanteuse Laura Marling and happy go lucky horn ruffled Fanfarlo who really got the crowd dancing. It's tricky because I don't know many people who can switch that many emotional gears in three hours.

Bottom line, I am a big fan of The Antlers and thought their performance was incredible. Check out the pictures from the night, they speak for themselves.

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Pictures: The Antlers @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
The Antlers on Myspace




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