Live Review: The Antlers

Oran Mor – 1/11

The indie-folk trio, based in Brooklyn, gave Oran Mor’s audience a show emanating melancholy anguish – which sounds like a negative thing, but nobody would have come to see their show if they were expecting anything different.

For Antlers fans, the gloomier the better, as they realise that Pete Silberman and co. are the best possible men for picking at the darkest bits of their soul. Their newest album Familiars, came out this June but it wasn’t predominantly songs from that album that were played this time. It seemed that the band chose which songs they knew would evoke their fans the most and proceeded to play them.

The gig began with ‘Hotel’ which whispered eerie lyrics designed to haunt the listener. Secondly, ‘Kettering’ was performed – the second track from Hospice – a popular album favourite among fans. Listening to that struck the audience, as the room was filled with nothing but dismal vibes, yet simultaneously there was a profound appreciation for the band’s talent and provision of catharsis.

They proceeded to play some songs from Burst Apart – the album that succeeded Hospice.  The most memorable one from this was ‘Putting the Dog to Sleep’, a crescendo of loneliness building up to a sentiment which epitomised despair. There was hardly a word sung from the audience as they anticipated the rhythm, melody and lyrical content with awe.

It was only when they left the stage that one was reminded of the other people in the room apart from myself and the band, as suddenly everyone started fervently clapping and cheering in appreciation for the band’s spilling their souls out for them.

Pete then returned by himself with his acoustic guitar and sang a version of ‘Epilogue’ which bled cynicism, depression, mortality and bursts of futility. Pete said a sentimental, sensitive farewell, leaving the audience dumbstruck to the extent that nobody seemed sure if they were ready to embark on their journey home yet.

[Sarinah O’Donoghue – @notmiserable_]

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