My ears were still ringing from the Silversun Pickups show on Friday night and yet I was eager to keep it humming when they played again at Union Hall, a new bar across the street from my apartment. The downstairs stage area is very small holding less than 90 people and I was apprehensive from the quality of the sound that was to come.
Considering I never got a chance to see On!Air!Library! before they broke up, I grabbed at the chance to catch 2 of its members now in Daylight For The Birds who started off the night. Their shoe-gazer music is really beautiful on disk and myspace describes the sound as “the last thing you wanna hear before drifting off to sleep. . . .and the first thing upon waking,” which is a very fitting description. I’ve been addicted to the new songs but unfortunately they couldn’t recreate the sound on stage. Playing engaging sleepy music is really difficult live, and felt the band was overall out of tune.
I got a chance to talk to Silversun Pickups before they came on stage and thanked them for a super set at Mercury Lounge. I had a really great chat with the lead singer Brian Aubert about their hometown and, of course, about music. He was really nice and although the band was exhausted from a grueling tour schedule they somehow stayed awake. They took the tiny stage and started with “Creation Lake” which they played as an encore at the Merc. By the time they got through “Melatonin,” the mood was established for the night. The band just exploded and the sound system held up surprisingly well, even as I was in the front row. The band and music has this shy demeanor with catchy melodies but then crash out of it with intense noisy power. Although their album comes close to catching their energy, seeing them live makes you realize the dynamic nature of their sound.
At one point Brian commented on how the band only really existed because of the welcome they got from the NY crowd at CMJ. I’m glad they came back and now armed with an incredible album and more experience. The band really shines when the the bassist Nikki compliments the male-female vocals in several of their songs. She is just so adorable onstage and her bass melodies somehow ground the band as the surge of guitar squalls out. They played an older song “comeback kid” for the encore to make it an incredible show and left my ears ringing for more.
Make your ears happy as well. Buy the album and see them live. I haven’t stopped playing it in days.