Photo via Brooklyn Vegan, by Amanda Hatfield
Last night, Dirty Projectors
celebrated the release of their sixth full length, Swing Lo Magellan
with a show that was as playful and effortlessly impeccable as their new album. Playing at the expansive Prospect Park Bandshell as part of the "Celebrate Brooklyn"
series, the newly-altered sextet performed sixteen songs from Swing Lo
, Bitte Orca
and their 2010 Bjork collaboration Mount Wittenberg Orca
. The entire night was relaxed. A perfect combo of beautiful weather and Dirty Projectors' new-found direction towards casual orchestration sent an audience of thousands into an ecstatic frenzy with every song.
First up was Purity Ring
, a rising electronic duo with a penchant for flashing lights and 808s. While an outdoor daytime set may not have been their ideal setting, singer Megan James kept eyes locked with the audience while Corin Roddick sampled beats and tapped glowing lights that triggered MIDI samples. Their debut album Shrines
will definitely be worth your ear time -- it's out via 4AD on July 24th.
After Purity Ring was Wye Oak
, another duo comprised of Jenn Wasner -- who sings part-time with Dirty Projectors -- and simultaneous multi-instrumentalist Andy Stack. This band is a fantastic spectacle to watch and hear. Wasner's voice and guitar howls in expert harmony, and Stack's ability to play drums, piano and trigger loops all at once is a clinic in multitasking and awesome goofy faces of concentration. The duo brought out some new songs to play on their forthcoming Summer tour with Dirty Projectors, so it's likely that a new Wye Oak album will be here in the not-too-distant future.
As the glorious red and blue blobs went up on center stage, the crowd broke out into an enormous cheer. The main four: David Longstreth, Amber Coffman, Nat Baldwin and new drummer Michael Johnson came onstage for the first song and title track, "Swing Lo, Magellan." It was a warm and welcoming start to the Dirty Projector's set, and one that informed how the evening would sound. The greatest aspect of the performance was how plainly one could see how much fun everyone onstage was having. Longstreth was beaming in between songs and convulsing during his inimitable guitar solos.
Party starter and new album highlight "About To Die" saw the newer members Haley Dekle and Olga Bell
contribute to Coffman's harmonies. After Angel Deradoorian went on hiatus from the band last year, Amber Coffman has taken an even larger role in the band: her lead songs "The Socialites" and "Stillness Is The Move" were some of the highlights of the night. Her unique voice and charisma were next-level swoon-worthy.
The night was focused around Swing Lo, Magellan
, with all but one song played from the twelve track record. Standbys from Bitte Orca
were welcomed with enormous cheers from the crowd, with "No Intention" and "Useful Chamber" seeing the highest energy of the night. Encore closer "Impregnable Question" was a perfect way to end the night: a legitimate love song
between Longstreth and Coffman, singing in harmony, "You're my love, and I want you in my life." In the midst of all the praise and criticism of the Dirty Projectors, it's clear that this band just loves playing together. And with outrageously talented musicians on a beautiful night in the park, that's all you need.
Dirty Projectors, Prospect Park
July 10th, 2012
01. Swing Lo Magellan
02. About to Die
03. Gun Has No Trigger
04. See What She Seeing
05. The Socialites
06. Offspring Are Blank
07. No Intention
08. Beautiful Mother
09. Dance For You
10. Just From Chevron
11. Maybe That Was It
12. Useful Chamber
13. Unto Caesar
14. Stillness Is The Move
15. Cannibal Resource
16. Impregnable Question
Watch "Gun Has No Trigger" at Music Hall of Williamsburg show from the night before.