The Walkmen’s show last night at Terminal 5 was a homecoming of sorts. Even though the band no longer resides in New York City, friends and family gathered to witness a fresh and energetic set brought on by five sharply dressed dudes who played their hearts out. Playing songs off old and new albums to a completely packed house, there wasn’t a lyric in a song that wasn’t being screamed.
Early arrival to the venue proved to be a very pleasant surprise, as Daughter took the stage and blew everyone away. The London-based band consists of very shy vocalist/guitarist Elena Tonra, guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguila who provided soft, beautiful melodies over strong, booming drums—a very haunting and ethereal set full of songs about love and heartbreak.
Dum Dum Girls were up next, and the four members dressed in head-to-toe black took the stage. The band got off to a quick and energetic start before segueing into an all-time favorite, “He Gets Me High,” as Dee Dee, Jules, Sandy and Malia swayed back and forth, picking up momentum for the rest of the set. Self-described as “blissed-out buzzsaw,” the Dum Dum Girls consistently hit the nail on the head, playing new singles sprinkled in with standout tracks from the group’s latest full-length Only In Dreams.
Headliners, the Walkmen, took the stage a little after 10, to hoots, hollers and whistles coming from anxious fans. The room was electric as the lights dimmed, spotlighting lead singer Hamilton Leithauser to slowly start things off with a melodic monologue to intro the song “Line By Line” from their most recent album, Heaven. After a bit of banter between songs—topics included “binders full of girls” and the Detroit Tigers—the tracks from Heaven kept coming. The band maintained the lovelorn, melancholy mood throughout the set with songs like “The Love You Love” and “Heartbreaker.” Leithauser’s vocals tore the house down, as he often picked up the entire mic stand and leaned back to belt out it out to the rafters with his strong, powerful voice. The entire set was instrumentally dramatic, the group often taking a few minutes to lead into different songs with all the house lights dimmed—and that drama made for an exhilarating set.