Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Live Review: The Horrors @ Stage 48

Before basketball takes center stage as the biggest thing New Yorker's care about in October, it is also the time when the Big Apple preps for Halloween and all of the ghouls, creepiness, and sinister things the holiday has to offer. But, before All Hallows Eve happens, CMJ rolls into town to bring forth a slew of unsigned bands, rising artists, and established acts to play all day, every day and until the wee-hours of the morning. To kick-off the first night of the 2014 CMJ Music Marathon, England's The Horrors finished their current North American tour on the start of the festival. With the right season, atmosphere, and chill in the air, it was the perfect time for these goth-cold wave rockers to play in the city that never sleeps.

Performing inside the fairly new Stage 48, The Horrors took the stage after 10 and opened with "Chasing Shadows" off their fantastic new record, Luminous. Heavily backlit by strobes, colored spotlights and mood lighting from the ceiling, the tone was set, yet, the band sounded a bit water down. While the decibel level was high, it didn't make for a crisp audible sound to come across. Singer Faris Badwin's vocals sounded drowned out, his beautiful, yet vulnerable vocals were hardly clear until the choruses of most songs, while guitarist Jayson Hayward's licks where hardly heard. The rhythm section of bassist Rhys Webb and drummer Joe Spurgeon sounded fine, as did the keyboard and electronic tones of Tom Cowen, yet, as a whole, The Horrors sounded washed away. Badwin, who looked like a gothic Joey Ramone, would clutch his mic stand, like Ramone, for dear life for most of the night, while headbanging in parts he wasn't singing. As the band played on, songs like "Sea Within A Sea," "Change Your Mind," "Still Life," and "I See You," got the most acclaim from the crowd. With a mixture of songs from their four albums, their short, 11-song setlist, had them on stage for about 75-minutes, which was another unfortunate event, a band with so many solid records and songs should be playing longer at this point in their careers. Then again, it was the tour's swan song, they might just want to get back home.

The Horrors Stage 48 Setlist 10/21/14:
Chasing Shadows
In and Out of Sight
Who Can Say
Sea Within a Sea
Endless Blue
Change Your Mind
Mirror's Image
Still Life
I See You

So Now You Know
Moving Further Away