The Brooklyn-based outfit Landlady headlined Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn Tuesday night, commemorating the release date of their newest album, Upright Behavior (Hometapes). Half past nine, the first band of the night took the stage, Shy Hunters. The New York three-piece was led by the confident and striking frontwoman Indigo Street. Her skill and grace, both when straddling her guitar and roaring at an adjacent microphone stand, were comparable but not limited to the erratic precision of Annie Clark’s electric phalanges and the harrowing, hollow soul of Polica’s Channy Leaneagh. Songs performed, like the darkly toned Echoes and the listless lull of Idle Days, hung in the air well after their set. Celestial Shore was next. Their set was raucous and wild and showcased a new song, Gloria, that had the three-piece guitar group at their brightest and best sounding.
Landlady came on shortly after 11. The initial five-piece ensemble, two tasked with percussion, opened the set with a dreamy and balmy rendition of Washington State Is Important. Frontman Adam Schatz was dynamic and enthralling, and the group played with reckless abandon and violent spontaneity. Even as one familiar with their record, I was consistently caught off guard by their dramatic, counter-intuitively positioned pauses, and the boisterous intensity of whatever song was being played. Before the first of the last three songs, Schatz invited two members from Landlady’s first lineup onto the stage: a female violinist and Street from Shy Hunger. Gradually, more and more people took the stage, and by the set’s heart-whopping, ecstatic finale both of the opening bands were on stage along with two additional female vocalists. I’ve written about Landlady before, the way their music evokes a specific, spiritual proclivity, an emotional energy that sucker punches you in the gut. Still, as Schatz stood perched upon a bass drum, looming over the crowd like some spectral prophet, the musicians collectively bellowing the same circular mantra (“Always, always”), I couldn’t quite shake the gooseflesh, or evade the involuntary leakage from my tear ducts, but I tried.
Photos by Angel E. Fraden.