that's a wrap: postmarks, wild light, stellastarr at highline
    • MONDAY, JULY 20, 2009

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    The Highline Ballroom is a bit of an unusual venue, in that it has unnervingly clean and gorgeous bathrooms, with unnervingly attentive attendants, and concert waitresses who drift in and out of the crowd during shows, offering drinks high on black trays. Distracting, at points, but not so much when the focus turned from the venue to the bands themselves. First, The Postmarks, with Tim Yehezkely (contrary to what the name suggest, Tim is in fact the adorable, blunt bangs long hair in delicate pretty dress with a voice so sweet and perfect with the slightest touch of melancholy and plenty of lignering nostalgia effect) swaying and singing their dusty pop songs, songs fitting for another past era here, in bright lights and a soundsystem doesn't hold the same fragile snowflake beauty. Regardless, their pretty melodies and Tim's eventual use of an adorable voice distorter on top of the microphone added a new level of audience inner "awww."

    Their short set led to Wild Light, whose infectious indie rock brought the audience alive, especially as the band constantly traded roles. The guitarist now the keyboardist, the singers frequently switched, but each with his own charm, and an enthusiastic performance that heightened the catchy nature of their crafted songs. It might have even been the drummer who impressed, his furious playing and tricks with his drumsticks flawless, at times with a tambourine, bells and the drums at once, vicious pounding that played an immaculate part of Wild Light's songs.

    And, then, Stellastarr*, a hometown show for the New York natives, with a crowd as receptive as you might expect. Enthusiasm that exploded through the band's old school songs, and punched through the air like the band's sharp anthems perfect for the classic indie rock band formation. As lead singer Shawn Christensen sang with that distinctive, Jarvis Cocker-esque edge, and gorgeous bassist Amanda Tennen strutted the bass with a confident, easy appeal, their fans danced and sang along with eager enthusiasm. And when they performed the dark quickening pulse of "In the Walls" and finally the classic that is "My Coco" at an encore that exploded with a frenzied embrace of the band's history, this, the slicing guitars and Shawn's majestic, moody chant, this anticipation, this is what the night demanded, and Stellastarr* delivered. - Laura Yan

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