BEING THERE: The War On Drugs @ UT


I’ve always been intrigued by making it out for home town performances, though they tend to be overhyped or more often, the band shows up exhausted – playing one-off hits for some family and friends after a long tour – mustering whatever they’ve got left to give and not much more. At last night’s gathering, War on Drugs was doing the inverse, celebrating not only the release of their new record, Lost in the Dream, but also launching the tour itself at a sold out home town venue. The crowd was all winter beards and high smiles, with everyone thoroughly amped to join the War effort (though it took them the first two songs for the crowd to warm up, typical in Philly). At 10:30 sharp they arrived on eerily dark stage and launched into a long, trippy guitar crescendo that got the shoe gazers moving and ready to get their War On Drugs on. Besides recognizing more than a few of the visions portrayed in Adam Granduciel’s lyrics, I’ve always taken comfort in the way he transmutes minimalist, Joy Divisionesque chord changes into a guitar hero’s dream. At first listen, I found some of the new tracks to be a bit too safe for my tastes, but after a few more listens and then seeing them live it all makes perfect sense. When it comes to the War On Drugs, I know what side I’m on. Do you? — ERIC ASHLEIGH

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