The Antlers @ Le Studio TD

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When tonight’s show was announced at the 650-capacity Le Studio TD (or l’Astral as you probably remember it), it seemed a little optimistic for such a small band (relatively speaking).  And so it proves to be; the venue is probably somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 full.  Still, there is more than enough anticipation for the long-awaited return of The Antlers to fill the room entirely.

Full disclosure: since their magnificent 2009 record Hospice, I haven’t really listened to their subsequent records anywhere near as intensely, so perhaps that’s why the first few songs of the set seem to bounce off me a little.  The pace seems to meander without any real highs or lows until the blazing drum/strobe light outro of Director finally takes things up a notch!  

A fantastic double whammy from Hospice swiftly follows, firstly with Atrophy, in which frontman Pete Silberman provides the grandiose swirling distorted guitars that somehow morph into an ultra-delicate solo outro, before Bear continues the glorious revisit, with its grandiose orchestral Whiter-Shade-Of-Pale keys.  Corsicana is a fragile delicate number that sees Pete alone under a spotlight busting out a falsetto, while John Ross of support band Wild Pink joins onstage to add some acoustic to Green To Gold and Ahimsa, while the rest of the band add ghostly ethereal harmonies.

Pete comes across as very serious for most of the show, as their music would probably suggest, but there’s a perfect moment of comedy during the opening bars of Just One Sec too.  As the first notes ring out, someone’s phone rings, which is immediately shut off by its owner.  However, mid-verse, Pete sings “it’s OK, you can get that!” almost instantaneously, much to the amusement of everyone in the room – it was seriously perfect comedy timing!  He also jokes about the fact that this tour is in support of their new record, which is actually 1 year old by the time this tour could actually happen… “so welcome to our 1-year anniversary tour!!!”, Pete declares!  

Overall, a solid 90 minutes; a little slow to get going, yes, but once it did, it made for quite the anniversary party!

Setlist

  1. Wheels Roll Home
  2. Stubborn Man
  3. No Widows
  4. Director
  5. Atrophy
  6. Bear
  7. Just One Sec
  8. It Is What It Is
  9. Volunteer
  10. Refuge
  11. Green to Gold

Encore

  1. Corsicana
  2. Porchlight
  3. Parade
  4. Ahimsa (Peter Silberman song)

Support came from Wild Pink

Review – Simon Williams
Photos – Dominic Blewett

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