King Krule, Real Estate, Girls live in New York
- By Hazel Sheffield -
- Jan 18, 2012
"Real Estate were the first band we toured with, ever," said Girls’ Christopher Owens excitedly as he thanked the supports for the second time at the end of the Terminal 5 show on Saturday (Jan. 14). You’ve got to wonder if either band foresaw a time when they’d be filling a 3000-capacity venue.
Terminal 5 is owned by the same people who run New York’s legendary Bowery Ballroom but has none of the charm, and while the audience arrived in plenty of time to see first support King Krule, the sound desk was obviously only really prepped for the main act. Both King Krule and Real Estate were oddly mixed, guitar riffs puncturing vocals awkwardly as they drifted up to the second floor balconies.
Real Estate rattled through most of their second album, ‘Days’, well-practised after an extensive winter tour. Though the album offered a cleaner version of the suburban lo-fi pop of their self-titled 2009 debut, its warmth was depleted in the warehouse setting. Martin Courtney’s vocal wavered over opener ‘Green Aisles’, sounding strangely bare without the reverb that made ‘Days’ feel like as cosy as the ‘Garden State’ soundtrack.
It was striking how many strong tunes Real Estate assembled for ‘Days’ as they rattled through ‘Municipality’ and ‘It’s Real’. ‘Fake Blues’ featured from the first album, alongside a cover of Felt’s ‘Sunlight Bathed In Golden Glow’, Matthew Mondanile (who records solo as Ducktails) a perfect match for the spoken-sung vocal of the original. They ended on ‘All The Same’, stretching the outro into a rhythmic jam that changed between tempos and signatures with disarming slickness, the sound of a band ready to try something new.
Any support act would have been overshadowed by Girls’ reception. Even Christopher Owens – wearing the odd combination of denim miniskirt and white socks – lost his pallid glow quicker than usual after he clocked how well the gig was going. They performed on a stage adorned with bouquets of flowers as in earlier gigs at smaller venues, with the addition of three gospel singers who got everyone going with a little hype before the opening chords of ‘Alex’.
Slow-burning gospel number ‘Vomit’ came off transcendent, paired against the straight-up pop of ‘Magic’ and ‘Laura’. Owens credited the backing singers with the band’s leap to hero status. “Without them, we’re shit!” he laughed. But while it’s hard to think of another indie band taking the same hipster-plus-gospel approach, heavy closer ‘Morning Light’ proved Girls know how to rock out with the best of them, even in a skirt.
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