Destroyer with The War On Drugs

Friday April 15, 2011

The Starlite Room


Indie buzz-band Destroyer took the stage Friday night at the Starlite Room to a reception that can at best be called casual adoration. Serious people with serious haircuts a great crowd does not make. Granted, this isn’t music to get stupid to, but for their efforts a margin more than a golf applause was warranted.

The evening started slowly and in typical fashion ran late. Supporting Destroyer was the equally touted Philadelphia rockers The War On Drugs. Playing mostly items from their 2008 release Wagonwheel Blues, they scraped through their roughly forty-five minute set blasting out Bob Dylan-esque road tunes to a less than involved crowd. TWOD’s most memorable moment came in their first 10 minutes as they completed their opening song to no applause. Breaking the silence lead singer Adam Granduciel questioned the audience “did Wayne Gretzky die?” The silence persisted. This isn’t to say these guys played poorly; they didn’t. Their noisy 90s inspired rock songs might have been a little inaccessible to those unfamiliar with them and as a result lead to disinterest.

I recall a dim electronic glow illuminating the crowd throughout the night, suggesting many people had more important matters to attend to anyway. Additionally, the supposed “sold out” Starlite Room was noticeably under-populated from start to finish.

Destroyer took the stage at roughly eleven o’clock, opening with Kaputt’s lead track “Chinatown”. From there they kept to a fairly tight interchange between a mix of older songs (mostly from the Rubies album) and cuts from Kaputt. Lead by Bejar, the eight-piece Destroyer optimized the small Starlite Room stage with tactical proficiency. They moved from song to song quickly with little conversation, only allowing for the few moments Bejar needed to sip from the flask he had placed near the front of the stage. Each song was played to a near album level clarity, missing no notes and with perfect timing. Overall, it was a stellar effort. The reserved crowd paid their respects in modest applause with the odd “hoot” in the mix. I think the cell phone glow may have even reduced during this period.

Edmonton was Destroyer's second to last stop on their North American tour. 26 of a total 27 dates behind them, if fatigue had begun to set in, I didn’t notice it.



more in Music Review     |     posted Apr 18th, 2011 at 10:54pm     

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