The War on Drugs – Live at The Tabernacle

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Minutes after realizing that the Courtney Barnett concert left the evening unfulfilled, we hopped into a car and went to The Tabernacle, where The War on Drugs were playing.

Better lights.  Better sound.  Better band.  And a fuller dose of music.


Having left the Barnett show with half a set, we settled into this one about halfway in as well.  Not optimal, but not much different from wandering around a music festival with multiple stages.  

TWOD has a big band for a sound that doesn’t sound particularly busy.  Part of that might be the pedestrian but appropriate drums, or fairly simple chord changes from the keyboards.  But this relative sparsity allowed plenty of room to distinguish the fairly indulgent baritone sax soloing or supplementing the songs.


While otherwise the band was fairly static, lead vocalist and guitarist Adam Granduciel owned the stage.  The songs weren’t long or short, but allowed plenty of time for his guitar to wail.   Also, Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue” was a great surprise in the encore offerings.


The venue seemed pretty close to full, and other than the buzzing of those attendees intent on talking rather than listening, most likely enjoyed a fairly rare appearance of a band likely to make it big.  Well, bigger, at least.   I only wish I had heard all of either TWOD or Barnett.  All of either would have been better than some of both, but it all worked out pretty well.

4 of 5 STARS




Arms Like Boulders
Comin’ Through
Under the Pressure
In Reverse
An Ocean in Between the Waves
Buenos Aires Beach
Red Eyes
Eyes to the Wind


Baby Missiles
Tangled Up in Blue
Lost in the Dream

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