Le Poisson Rouge celebrated its fifth anniversary in June with a bevy of events under the moniker LPRX5. What caught my eye was a headlining act from The Antlers, who have been highly regarded since their 2009 breakthrough, Hospice, an album legendary as a masterful tale of sorrow. The narrative of their headlining LPR show was made all the more sweeter as Antlers’ frontman Peter Silberman worked at the then-fledgling music venue whilst recording Hospice.
Ambient guitarist Dave Harrington opened the show. He wove us a cool soundscape, but ran on the long side. Unfortunately the issue with his performance was just that some of the audience didn’t buy it. For a quiet and deliberate set, it became a real battle against the din of idle conversation.
The Antlers held no issue with keeping people’s attention, the cult-like devotion of some of their fans not withstanding. They played a ninety minute set spanning Hospice, their following LP, Burst Apart, and their latest EP, Undersea. Hospice exists now as a zealously guarded treasure in their live sets since Burst Apart‘s release. Having seen them only twice in concert now, I am still left missing a couple songs from it. This live drip feed of one of my favorite albums is an agonizing element of my fandom.
This performance from The Antlers was mellowed out live, however it did not make their songs any less electric. Especially memorable for me was the slowed down version of “Bear” we heard. The crescendos of their music still hit the deepest of emotional chasms. On leaving, I was left with all the wrong (right) feelings, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Photos from Lina Shteyn, courtesy of Le Poisson Rouge.