click to enlarge
Most weekends--especially weekends as eventful as this--The Spin can't quite bring ourselves to come out with both guns blazin' on Sunday night. But once we remembered that The Walkmen were back in town, we showered off the party residue from two nights past and prepared to add a fresh coat. Why are The Walkmen powerful enough to snap us instantly from our Day of Rest haze? Because, as anyone who's seen them before can attest, The Walkmen are always on point. The Walkmen never miss.
With no local openers, Brooklyn's co-ed shoegazers Here We Go Magic started shortly after our arrival. Swathed in faint, red stage lights that hardly rose for the duration of their set, HWGM drifted between vaguely ethereal, low-key jams and more contemporary, bass-driven, post-punk-style numbers. Sound was a bit boomy and there wasn't much urgency to Here We Go Magic's arrangements or delivery, but their set was somewhat eclectic and mostly entertaining. You know, in a modern-shoegaze-with-a-shot-of-Animal-Collective type of way. They're definitely better at playing music than at picking band names, however. We'll certainly give them that.
We stole away for a quick cigarette or five while Here We Go Magic were coming and going, um, magically, but we made it back near the stage shortly before the headliners' set commenced. The Walkmen easily had Mercy's crowd--probably at about two-thirds capacity by this point--eating out of their capable palms by the time the opening, reverb-saturated chord progression of "In the New Year" began. In case you haven't heard it live, know that, yes, frontman Hamilton Leithauser's rafter-reaching croon is absolutely precise. The Walkmen brought out a small but adept horn section for the mariachi-style strains of "Louisiana," as well as two or three other tastefully brass-adorned numbers, while drummer Matt Barrick continued to be just about the most spot-on little badass of all time.
After a pretty thorough mix from their catalog, The Walkmen retired briefly backstage, but, knowing everyone in the room was waiting to hear it, they kicked off their encore with the most fitting indie-rock barfly anthem of our time, "The Rat." It was even complete with a dedication/shout-out to local faves The Privates. Despite our case of the Sunday Night Drearies, we had an all-around smashing time. That said, we still cut out during The Walkmen's last number in order to beat the traffic and make it home in time to peep the latest eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm
and Tool Academy
. We're not all party all
the time, you know.