The Walkmen | 1.21.08

live_walkmen_sm.jpgThe wait for The Walkmen was much like the White Rabbits’ set: short and sweet, with a lot of noise.




w/White Rabbits
Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room, St. Louis

The White Rabbits’ twin drum sets beat out an impeccable rhythm from the stage, but the indie rock audience in the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill refused to shake its hips. The full room maintained a comfortable energy level throughout the night, but ultimately failed to match the enthusiasm of the performers onstage.

Perhaps the audience’s unwillingness to participate stemmed from the music’s delay — the doors opened at eight, the show started at nine, and the opening act played the first song around ten. When White Rabbits took the stage, the conversations going on the floor gradually stopped as attention began to focus on the six members of the band. The set list was entertaining but undistinguishable for the next 40 minutes as they attempted to heat up a lukewarm atmosphere.

Once the White Rabbits got going, though, not even the lackluster fist pumping could deflect their all-out jam session. The vocals and strings were overpowered by the band’s drummer duo, but what they lacked in content, they made up in volume. The beats were loud and catchy, and soon the room was resonating with a well-rounded concord of piano keys and drum sticks.


The wait for The Walkmen was much like the White Rabbits’ set: short and sweet, with a lot of noise. The second group to take the stage started right into their rock-out play list, which included "Wake Up" and "Rue the Day" from Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone (2002), as well as "Little House of Savages," "Thinking of a Dream I Had," and "What’s In It For Me?" from Bows + Arrows (2004). The Walkmen seemed to follow the night’s trend, however, as their vocals were easily outdone by the sheer volume of their instruments.

The band effortlessly displayed their versatility as they mixed in songs such as "All Hands and the Cook" and "Good for You, Good for Me" from their 2006 release, A Hundred Miles Off. The front-and-center cluster noticeably loosened up as The Walkmen worked the stage with their lyrical talent and musical skill; what could be heard through the gaps in the music was thought-provoking and woven tightly.

Overall, the music was too loud and the voices were too soft in the basement of Blueberry Hill. The show was enjoyable for both fans and guests and both acts delivered a show worth listening to, even if it does make the ears a little sore. | Karen Brandt

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