Friday, May 13, 2011

The Drums live @ Adelaide Uni Bar 10/05/2011

The Drums are the perfect band to kickstart summer.  With songs like the bouncy, can't-help-but-singalong nature of their signature track "Let's Go Surfing", the band really shines with their brand of sun soaked indie pop.  The only problem is that Australia is on the other side of the world, and whereas the warmer months are encroaching on the States, The Land Down Under is slipping into chilly nights and lots of rain.  Despite this, The Drums came to Adelaide this past Tuesday with hopes of invigorating the crowd and helping them forget that they'd have to put off surfing for another few months.

Australia loves their indie music and The Drums are no exception.  The New York trio (although since the departure of their guitarist, the band has become a five-piece) was well received in the tiny Adelaide Uni Bar, which as you might have guessed, is a quaint little bar on the campus of Adelaide University, and virtually everyone in attendance was anxious to get through the support acts.  When The Drums did finally start cranking out tunes, I couldn't help but be underwhelmed.  The band had a lot of energy, and rolled through track after track of fan favorites, including "Best Friend", however they sounded terrible.

I don't know whether it was the small venue (I would estimate that the sold out crowd hovered around 300), crappy acoustics, or a sub-par soundsystem was the culprit, but the crisp, jangly tunes of their debut album were replaced by a muddied, second-rate version of themselves.  Vocalist Jonathan Pierce also sounded atrocious, leaving me wondering how much of the studio-version of his voice was achieved through post-production wizardry.  Aside from sound quality issues, the band stuck primarily to the well known tracks of their debut, occasionally tossing in a new song here and there.  The new songs that we did hear didn't really impress me all that much, however it should go without saying that because of the audio-related disparities the finalized studio versions of these songs will probably sound a lot better.

Despite the fact that I was disappointed with the show, I can't say that it in any way influences my view of the band.  I still love their debut, and it goes without saying that I will pick up their new album whenever it is released...I'll just think twice about dropping $50 to see them live.

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