Even though it was still a balmy 92 degrees at 11 p.m. last night, the Mercury Lounge was surprisingly cool and filled with hardcore fans wanting to catch Paper Route’s late show. No one received more adoration than the lead singer J.T. Daly, who was clearly loving every minute of it. You can’t hide a grin that wide.
The show kicked off with one of Paper Route’s bigger hits, “Carousel,” off of the band’s first full-length release, Absence. The guitar- and drum-heavy track blasted out into the room, shaking the floors and reverberating in my knee caps. What followed was a blur of guitars, drums, synths and vocals that created a constantly booming wall of sound that was sometimes overwhelmingly wonderful but sometimes just overwhelming. And then came the snow machine. Fluffy white material blasted from two boxes on either side of the stage, covering the band as Daly, confidently sporting a rendition of the Canadian tuxedo, meandered around the stage and later, into the audience. There was a lot going on all the time, but I got the distinct feeling that that’s the way they like it.
The band threw in a few new tracks from its upcoming album, The Peace Of Wild Things, including “Love Letters” and the first track officially released off of the new album, “Better Life.” “Better Life” in particular exhibited a slightly more pop sound than previous songs, giving Daly’s versatile but weighty voice the chance to test out some new ground. The most show-stopping moment happened, fittingly, at the very end. The second, and last, song of Paper Route’s encore, “Dancing On Our Graves,” was the perfect calm-down to a solid hour of high-energy insanity. Stripping everything down to just the basics resulted in a “less is more” situation, allowing the band the showcase its raw, un-electronicized talents.