BEING THERE: The War On Drugs @ The Tower


Philadelphia’s The War on Drugs cast a spell over the capacity crowd at the Tower Theater Friday night with their celebrated brand of ethereal guitar rock. Their first song of the night, the gloriously woozy “Under Pressure,” is also the lead-off track of their highly-acclaimed 2014 LP Lost In A Dream, which was fitting considering that the runaway success of that album was the reason they were playing the Tower instead of Johnny Brenda’s. Granduciel’s Dylanesque vocals and wobbling tremolo-ed guitar echoed off the walls and the tall, broad ceiling of the Tower, creating a lush atmosphere of billowing dreaminess. The audience danced ecstatically, beers in hand, to the irresistible beats laid down by rock-steady drummer Charlie Hall on standout numbers like “Disappearing,” “Eyes to the Wind” and “Red Eyes.” Clearly honored to be playing such a storied venue, Graduciel thanked the crowd for their applause after almost every song, but he may well have been thanking the Gods Of Rock who have finally smiled upon him after nearly a decade of toiling in the small rooms of semi-obscurity. Which is fitting, because The War On Drug’ lush widescreen music deserves a larger canvas. — DYLAN LONG