The 42.6mm of rain that soaks our city on this dreary Thursday is all the reason I need to head out tonight; if I have to listen to my sump pump for 5 more minutes, I will lose my mind. My reason for leaving the house tonight would prevail over any weather conditions, though, as it’s the first visit of New York’s Geese to the 514 (at least, as far as I can tell from researching previous shows online). Creators of my favourite record of 2021, their debut album Projector, I’ve been looking forward to this for a while.
The gross weather does not go unnoticed by the band either; a couple of songs in, frontman Cameron Winter even remarks “I came here once as a little boy; it rained then, and it’s raining now!” The hardy ones who braved the elements are richly rewarded for their efforts, though. The set is short, clocking in at around 50 minutes, but pretty sweet. Fantasies / Survival sounds absolutely massive, even on the small stage of Bar Le Ritz, starting as a mellow strum intro before morphing into a furious punk anthem with sharp stop-start breakdowns immaculately synced between both guitars, bass, and drums. Exploding House is almost a reverse of that structure, starting off frantic before slowing to the verse, and subsequently undulating between those two planes to the conclusion. First World Warrior is a much more relaxing proposition, with guitars residing firmly on the twinkle zone throughout, but no less epic. Breakthrough song Low Era sounds even more glorious live than on record, twisted into a much more funky proposition, and elicits somewhat of a singalong amongst the small but appreciative crowd. Disco starts out with a sludgy beat reminiscent of The Hardest Button To Button by The White Stripes, and even sets off a small section of the floor pogo-ing, closing out the main set in thunderous fashion.
Ultimately though, only about half of the Projector record is played, which is a little disappointing given that it’s only 9 songs long, but the new songs thrown in certainly go some way to make up for it. (A word of warning though; I am naming these based on a hand-written setlist that wasn’t all that easy to read, so some names may be wrong…but I will try!) 2122, which opens the show, sounds like The Doors and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah duetting on Jimi Hendrix’s Crosstown Traffic, while Cameron sounds veritably more Eddie Vedder on psychedelic encore song Undoes. Gravity, on the other hand, is much more Blues.
There are some moments that sound so far removed from the Projector record that you wonder if anyone arrived late and double-checked they were in the right place! Still, it bodes well for the band’s future output, as they’re clearly bursting with ideas, so much so that they only feel the need to play half of their only record! All in all, a top-notch first visit for Geese, hopefully, the first of many.
- Exploding House
- First World Warrior
- Low Era
Review – Simon Williams
Photos – Steve Gerrard