Monday, December 28, 2009

Live Review - As Tall As Lions @ Westbury

Fresh after coming back from their first trip to the UK, Long Island's As Tall As Lions played their annual holiday showcase at Westbury Theater on the band's home turf. What was a homecoming show turned into a real gift as the Lions roared into one of the greatest sets I have ever seen them do. Westbury theater is a venue on Long Island common with old time acts that your Grandparents would see or comedians dropping by to do intimate sets in a venue set with a small stage in the round, famous for it rotating and give the audience a 360o view of the artist. The stage was set to stationary as were the hearts, jaws and attention of each audience member from the get go. Coming out to a bizarre instrumental track that would have made Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood proud, from the moment As Tall As Lions came on stage I knew it was going to be a special night. The band, who has been on the road since the summer, seemed much more confident then when I saw them just 6 months ago at a fantastic sold out Bowery Ballroom before their latest and one of the years best, You Cant Take it With You was released. For instance the single "Circles," the bombastic opening song from their latest, sounded better than ever, with bassist Julio Tavarez along with multi-instrumentalists Duncan Tootill and Rob Parr playing additional floor tom-tom drums along with set drummer Cliff Sarcona, it added an unpredicted energy and drive to the song and would showcase what would come later on. The hypnotic single pulsed like the heart beats of every audience member as we were only two songs in. Watching singer Daniel Nigro take his mouth away from the mic and scream the words and emotion into the faces of his band mates and seeing guitarist Saen Fitzgerald playing his guitar with a bottle Yuengling as a pic, from effects to lights to emotional intensity, their 60 minute set was the best gift I got this Christmas, hand delivered by the band themselves. I could have not asked for a better night and this being my fifth time seeing them and as they keep getting better and better, I cannot wait to see and hear what the next decade brings this band, whatever success they may get, they deserve more than any other band out there today.

As Tall As Lions 12/27/2009 Westbury Theater Setlist

Be Here Now
Go Easy
Is This Tomorrow?
Into the Flood
A Soft Hum
Ghosts of York
In Case of Rapture
Milk and Honey
Stab City