In Concert
Monday, 26 April 2010 17:03

The Antlers at Lincoln Hall

Written by  Miguel Harvey

 

“Maybe it’s just Thursday,” remarked Antlers leader Peter Silberman to a packed crowd at Lincoln Hall, “but it feels like there’s magic in the air.” The resulting roar of approval and the alternating moments of fragile quiet and powerful release throughout the band’s memorable set indicated that Silberman may have been on to something.

The Brooklyn-based trio of Silberman, keyboardist Darby Cicci and drummer Michael Lerner returned, after playing in February at The Vic with popular UK act Editors, as a headliner to Chicago, in support of the critically acclaimed 2009 LP Hospice. The buzz surrounding the album and a Chicago fan base bolstered by multiple local performances during the past year made the show a weekday sellout, and the band delivered a solid hour and a half set focused largely on Hospice but featuring a smattering of songs from prior releases, a bit of new material, and a dirge-like cover of “VCR,” made popular by Londoners The xx.

Atmosphere was a key to The Antlers’ performance, and the stage show was simple yet effective. Contrasting with a completely dark house, the stage was bathed in alternating monochromatic light for much of the set, and blasts of smoke encircled the band and created a haze that reached to the back of the venue.  Small potted plants sat atop Silberman’s effects setup and Cicci’s weathered Rhodes piano, and added a subtle contrast to songs fixated upon illness and death (Hospice is a concept album revolving around a medical worker’s blossoming relationship with a terminal cancer patient).

Any concern that slow tempos and a general funereal quality to most of the band’s songs would make for a less-than-compelling performance was quickly allayed. As frontman, Silberman was surprisingly talkative, and the band’s emotional, energetic stage presence gave a drive to the songs that is present in the recordings could potentially have been difficult to reproduce effectively in a live setting. Lerner’s drums and a programmed bass track gave punch to the swells of guitar and ambient sound that accompanied the louder portions of songs like Hospice standouts and fan favorites “Two” and “Kettering.” Silberman’s voice, alternating between a falsetto reminiscent of Jeff Buckley and a controlled tenor, nicely filled the room and held most of Lincoln Hall’s two levels at attention for the duration of the show.

 In just nine months since their abbreviated appearance at the 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival, The Antlers have become vastly more assured as a live band and the songs of Hospice have taken on new qualities that can only be discovered through performing them night in and night out. The band’s next performance in Chicago takes place at this summer’s incarnation of the Lollapalooza festival, and checking them out is highly recommended. More information about the band, Hospice and upcoming concerts  can be found at their official Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/theantlers .

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

 
Check out the Ravinia schedule for Chicago Summer fun!

Register

Latest Articles

  • Marriott Theatre's "October Sky" Flies High
    Written by
    Boys love their rockets. We find this out rather quickly in Marriott Theatre’s world premiere of October Sky, a new musical based on the 1999 film featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Chris Cooper. Written by Aaron Thielen with the music and…
  • Review: The Price at Timeline Theatre
    Written by
    Dorothy Parker once said, "If you want to know what god thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to." Arthur Miller's 'The Price' centers itself around a middle aged couple getting on toward their golden years,…
  • Sweet Home Chicago
    Written by
    Chances are everybody knows a Chicago song whether they are aware of it or not. It’s nearly impossible to not had at least one of their melodies buzzing through your head at one time or another. When seeing them perform…
  • "Assassination Theater: Chicago's Role in the Crime of the Century" Hard-Hitting as it is Revealing
    Written by
    In the highly engaging, thought-provoking world premiere, “Assassination Theatre: Chicago’s Role in the Crime of the Century” by investigative reporter and author Hillel Levin, the audience is thrust into a very well-presented exploration into the murder of President John F.…

Guests Online

We have 66 guests and no members online

Buzz Chicago on Facebook Buzz Chicago on Twitter