"New York, it has been too long," as soon as Editors singer Tom Smith arrived on stage he addressed the crowd and was ready to play a welcomed comeback to the city that never sleeps. Opening with "In This Light and On This Evening," the title track from the band's latest record, the crowd and band were both focused on the music and what was to come. From the moody opener, things kicked up with "An End Has a Start," the pulse pounding title track to the band's sophomore release and a guarantee party starter. Editors have been on tour in North America for the first time in two years, after a string of dates here this past month, things are winding down for the British band and the lads seemed to be nervous and excited about being back in New York. New York City has welcomed the Editors with open arms since before the release of the band's 2005 debut, The Back Room.
Now, three albums in and switching the craft of their dance friendly rock and roll to a much more moody synth meets club vibe, the new songs and old songs worked really well in the order of the set list. Drummer Edward Lay is simply an animal behind his kit, guitarist Chris Urbanowicz would constantly switch off between his guitar and multiple keyboards and Russell Leech laid thick grooves with bass playing. Yet, it is singer Tom Smith everyone has their eyes locked on. Could it be his dapper mod clothing? Or his handsome good looks? Or the fact that the guy writes really great songs that take you places emotionally and physically. I am going with all of the above. Smith would roam around on stage like a rabid dog, curling his body like an ocean wave and belting out his words to the crowd. On stage Smith is a cross between Chris Martin on cocaine and Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan (who was also on cocaine and other things once). It is a true show in the front man alone. Each song had the crowd engaged, the highest applause would come during "Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors," and the Euro-club favorite track "Papillon." Word of mouth after the show, this seemed to be a sub par Editors concert. I respectfully disagree, as the band is getting older they are evolving in sound and style, at its core Editors are still a top live ticket. If I was ever in a band, I would want to be in a band like Editors.
Opening the show were two New York natives, The Antlers and The Dig. The Antlers, whose debut Hospice, has gained them much critical success, a concept record about losing a loved one to cancer. The Antlers live performance is just as stark, complex and captivating as their record, in fact they sound just like the album in concert. I am looking forward to seeing them again open for The National at Radio City in June. The first band up, The Dig was a band I was unfamiliar with, yet now I am totally intrigued to their music. They are an ambient band with pounding drums, think Air meets the moody side of Editors. A great night and I just hope it does not take another two years to see Editors again.