The CMJ music marathon has hit New York City this week like the force of a thousand suns. Music lovers, writers, college radio personnel, promoters all descend on the city and hardly get any sleep as they take a whirlwind trip through the boroughs to catch the various bands trying to break on through to the music scene. The marathon began 30 years ago and has done wonders for the careers of artists like U2, R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Q-Tip, Eminem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers, Arcade Fire and various others. Each band competes for the crowd’s attention and notoriety while playing a plethora of gigs through the five days of the festival. This year it seems as if more bands and more events than ever before have been going on, so much so that no one knows where to split themselves first.
On the third night of the festival, Northern Ireland’s Two Door Cinema Club took the stage to a sold out Webster Hall and gave a performance that will put them in the league of the artists mentioned before, and that is no exaggeration. The band, who I have spoken to earlier this year, have gained much attention back home in the UK due to their live performances and critically praised debut, Tourist History. The band’s sound is a cross between Phoenix and early Bloc Party, fun dance-rock with a punch. As soon as they took the stage last night, the audience keyed up for a performance that they will be speaking about for a very long time. Just two songs in, singer Alex Trimble had mentioned “New York, this is amazing! I can feel the f*cking floor shake! Keep dancing!” While the band was in awe of the crowd, the crowd was in awe of the band. A barnstorming 60 minute set that was 60 minutes to last a lifetime. Playing a majority of Tourist History and including two brand new songs, Two Door Cinema have given one of the greatest performances to come from this festival in years! Bassist Kevin Baird noted at the end “This is the biggest and best show we have ever played in the States, this is only our second trip and to be here at this legendary venue, thank you so much!” They were humbled by the response on how intense and crazy the crowd received them. If there is going to be any break out band from CMJ this year, it is going to be Two Door Cinema Club and the next time they come back to New York, it will not be Webster Hall they play, it is going to be somewhere bigger and they are ready for it.