Concert Review: The Antlers, The Academy, Dublin 4-12-2009

13 Dec

So this review is a little late up but I’ve had exams as of late and haven’t had anytime to make any posts but now that they’re mostly over I get to go back to music and such

So in case you’ve never heard of the Antlers, they’re a pretty cool band. They released their debut album earlier this year and it took the indie world by storm…in no small part due to Pitchfork’s glowing review. Well it’s been nine months since that album has been released, the band have toured all over the world and to end their European tour they decided to pop over to Ireland.

The venue for this concert was the awful…and I mean awful Academy 2, generally I’m a fan of the Academy unfortunately the downstairs area is nowhere near as impressive as the upstairs. With no real stage to speak of anyone outside the first five or so rows will be greeted with the sight of the heads of the people in front of them and little more. Backed by a local singer-songwriter whose name I cannot remember (not to say he wasn’t decent), the Antlers took the stage around 9:15. At this time I was standing in the front row unfortunately someone for some reason that I can never hope to fathom the volume was turned up to 11. Personally I like my hearing so I eventually decided to move back…not until Kettering and Sylvia were played though because honestly those songs are just too amazing.

However, once I got to my new position the concert kind of went downhill, you see for those who have not heard The Antlers album Hospice, it’s a really slow album, almost borderline ambient at times. This is all well and good on the album but live about half of these tracks do not translate well at all; there’s no hook in the vocals, the songs just seem to wander around aimlessly until they eventually come to some sort of conclusion. Not seeing the band probably made this worse, as with all the people talking around me (seriously people learn to shut up) it felt more like the music was being played on a speaker than by a band just 20 feet in front of me. Occasionally the band would play something that I would find familiar maybe a small vocal part of one song or some instrumental section but for the most part I realised I have no idea what half of Hospice actually sounds like.

The problem for the Antlers is, is that all they could do was go up on stage and play their entire album; a great album I might add, but one album none the less. Normally when you go to a concert you expect the band to play more energetic numbers, more hits, more singalongs; the Antlers naturally do not have this option. However, as the concert went on it was clear some songs were connecting with the audience more than others. Excluding the two I previously mentioned the other main one was the final track epilogue; which really there was no better way to end the concert; absolutely amazing song. In the end you get the feeling that the band aren’t ready to headline yet, they have about half an hour of music that works really well live, the rest you can take or leave. As a support band they would put on an amazing show and you’d run out to buy their album afterwards. As headliners though you feel like there’s something missing…give the band one or two more albums though and judging from what I’ve seen they’ll be one of the best live bands going but for now…they put on a good show but not a very consistent one.

3.75/5

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2 Responses to “Concert Review: The Antlers, The Academy, Dublin 4-12-2009”

  1. bono212 18/12/2009 at 09:06 #

    I can not even begin to fathom why they thought a headlining tour was a good idea :\. I really would only be interested in hearing a handful of songs from that album live, much as I love it.

  2. John 18/12/2009 at 17:56 #

    I know, I love the album a lot but live it didn’t work that well. They’re playing here again in May but really I’m not going to go to see them again until they get another album out. They’re a great band but not too much live

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