A packed, excited crowd gathered at Bowery Ballroom this past Tuesday evening for the return of The Sea and Cake. Promoting their ninth studio album, Car Alarm, the band played a mix of songs that spanned their fifteen-year-long career. And while the band still sounded tight, especially in their expansive instrumentals, there seemed to be an unfortunate lack of enthusiasm. The band was there, but they just seemed to be going through the motions with little crowd interaction. A few of the songs stood out from the pack though. “Weekend,” a song off their new album, brought Archer Prewitt to the mic for a more upbeat, fun jam, which drew raving cheers from the audience.
Opening act Brokeback should definitely be mentioned here too as their set was quite fantastic and full of exceptional musicianship. Douglas McCombs, originally of Tortoise, really showed off his electric guitar skills as the band played a strong set of sprawling instrumental songs that mixed jazz, rock, ambient, and psychedelia. Although McCombs complained a few times during the set that his guitar needed fixing, it all sounded quite perfect to me.