Live Review: Editors with the Dig and the Antlers at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 21 February 2010

By on Thursday, 25th February 2010 at 2:00 pm

Lovely to see you again. Hope you’re doing okay.” Those were the first quiet words of hello from Editors‘s Tom Smith to the crowd at the sold-out 9:30 Club Sunday night. That may have been a tentative introduction but the band’s performance was anything but tentative. They played a nearly 2-hour set to an audience of adoring fans in love with their old hits like ‘Munich’ and “Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors’ as well as the synthy goodness of newer tracks like ‘Papillon’ and my personal favourite off ‘In This Light and On This Evening’ (released last year), ‘You Don’t Know Love.’

It was really interesting to watch the contrast of material from their first two albums made with traditional rock band instruments against the new songs, heavy on synths. The best moment of the night for me was ‘Bricks and Mortar’, watching lead guitarist Chris Urbanowicz leave his guitar behind for a moment to plug away at a synth, with Smith following not far behind to join him so they were pressing buttons feverishly in tandem. Electropop awesome sauce.

Joining the dark princes of English indie rock on this tour were the Dig, a rock ‘n’ roll quartet and the Antlers, a more fuzzed out, dream / experimental pop band. Of the two, I preferred the Dig, because they played straightforward, feel good guitar rock that isn’t showing up on American radio stations as it should. Songs like ‘You’re Already Gone’ and ‘I Just Want to Talk to You’ point to exactly what is wrong with most rock music today. It’s missing bands like this that make exciting but not over the top rock ‘n’ roll. The Dig is set to self-release their debut album ‘Electric Toys’ in America in late April.

MP3: The Dig – You’re Already Gone


But it’s not like the Antlers really needed my endorsement anyway. The Brooklyn trio have a definite following in Britain, with their early March gigs at London’s Union Chapel and Brighton’s Hanbury Ballrooms already sold out. Songs from last year’s ‘Hospice’ are brooding pieces for the thinking man, somewhat challenging for the average pop music fan but worth the time seeking out if what you’re after is thoughtful lyrics with an interesting instrumental backdrop. I’ve heard them been compared to Fleet Foxes, Cold War Kids, Passion Pit, and I can see the reasons behind these comparisons, but I’d throw in possibly Beach House and Late of the Pier for good measure. If any of these bands named ring your bells, the Antlers just might be for you.

After the cut: photos and set lists.

The Dig Photos:

The Antlers Set List

The Antlers Photos:

Editors Set List
In This Light and On This Evening
An End Has a Start
You Don’t Know Love
The Boxer
The Big Exit
Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool
The Racing Rats
Escape the Nest
Like Treasure
Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors
Bricks and Mortar
Fingers in the Factories

Editors Photos:

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[…] Van Susans. On Tuesday night, the opening band were New Yorkers the Dig, who I’ve known since they came to DC in February 2010 to support Editors. They would be supporting Little Comets in DC and on the next night at […]

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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