Walkmen @ The Metro, September 12, 2008

Walkmen
Metro – Chicago, IL
9/12/2008

walkmen

The Walkmen took stage around 11:15 and started with the slow and reflective “New Country,” a song that uses one guitar for the sole instrumentation. The Walkmen drew mostly from the quality new album, You &Me. Before “Thinking Of A Dream I Had,” the Walkmen showcased four of their new ones – the best being by far “Canadian Girl,” which they kept beautifully accurate to the studio version.

Golem, the unusual opening band selection, boasted bouncy amusing Yiddish songs to warm the crowd up for the mostly straightforward indie-rock staple The Walkmen. Comparing Gogol Bordello to Golem is a pretty big stretch, however the sextet’s Eastern influence and accordion-led jams certainly make both acts unique within the indie-rock context. The crowd took to these fellow New Yorkers.

The Walkmen took stage around 11:15 and started with the slow and reflective “New Country,” a song that uses one guitar for the sole instrumentation. The Walkmen drew mostly from the quality new album, You &Me. Before “Thinking Of A Dream I Had,” the Walkmen showcased four of their new ones – the best being by far “Canadian Girl,” which they kept beautifully accurate to the studio version.

Hamilton Leithauser seemed genuine in his frequent mentions of how happy he was to be in Chicago playing at the Metro. The band too seemed pleased with the way the set went and proud of their new material, and stage banter was kept to a minimum. I’ve never seen Hamilton not go all out on every lyric, something that definitely held up last night. The Walkmen started to get to more familiar turf with “Wake Up,” “All Hands On The Cook,” sandwiching the very cool live You & Me track “Long Time Ahead Of Us.”

“The Rat” has seemed to overtake “We’ve Been Had” for the Walkmen’s core number (“We’ve Been Had” did not make this set). Of the 10 new ones, “Red Moon” rivaled “Canadian Girl” for the best live; “What’s In It For Me?” “The Rat” and “Louisiana” were the strong tracks that all came before the encore.

There was nothing out of the ordinary at this show, no interesting covers, but certainly no let downs whatsoever. Fans expressed their appreciation for their work, new and old, and for the encore were treated to “The Blue Route,” (which also rocked) and “Little House of Savages.”

All in all, the new songs fit in nicely with the set, and the performance went as expected: really well.

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