The Wombats, The Postelles @ Webster Hall 10/19/2011

Very rarely am I at a concert and only have my focus on the opening (rather than the headlining) band. It’s not that I wasn’t excited to see the Wombats last night; I was just overly excited to see the Postelles. Their album has wormed its way into my personal rotation since I first heard it in June, and after the show I made a point to get it on vinyl (side note: I am a hipster). But, as I’ve been in the position before, let’s show some love to the opening band.

The Spring Tigers were playing when we walked in, and I will say that they have a sound quite appropriate for a New York venue, despite being from Georgia. Unfortunately, their songs didn’t really stick with me, but I did really like the last one they played. If they needed a direction to go in, that’s the direction I’d pick. Not knowing the song title sounds like lazy reporting, but I have a hard time understanding British accents, such as the one their singer possesses. I’d see them again, but it would probably take a few listens to get into their songs. Overall, they would have stood out more if the next two bands didn’t have such overwhelming presence.

Next up was my main event, the new(ish) on the scene Postelles. Their debut, which is half rerecorded from their two year old EP (re: Cold War Kids), is honestly fantastic. The band has the same aesthetic that Locksley possesses, and after seeing them live I now believe the Postelles might have even a better chance at making the big time than those Wisconsin lads. Plus, they have some heavy support from the one and only Albert Hammond Jr., and that’s certainly something worth noting. He produced half of the album, and the results are impressive to say the least. Still, when the songs are this well built, one would have to try to make them sound bad.

The first thing I noticed when the group walked out on stage was how well dressed the four of them were, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they took that tip from Hammond as well. The one exception might have been bassist John Speyer, who was oddly wearing a trench coat. This fact didn’t even matter though, because once the band started playing all eyes in the venue were on Daniel Balk. He shot into my top ten list of favorite frontmen by the end of the first song, and was somewhere in the top five at the end of the group’s set. It’s one of those things that one needs to see to believe, and no amount of praise is going show how soulful and charismatic the guy is. This showmanship might be the thing that pushes the band into stardom, and I feel lucky to have caught them before that happens.

As for the songs themselves, they might even come out better live than recorded. There’s a real energy to every one of them, and the extra power from the live setting really makes songs like “Stella” and “White Night” sound like you’ve heard them before. The Postelles’ songs in general have a very classic rock and roll feel to them, and that’s worth noting is a musical landscape where gimmicks are the only thing that stands out. This is the other reason they so closely resemble Locksley in my musical database of a head; they’re four good friends using sounds and styles of the 50’s and 60’s to make music that even that era would approve of. It’s all modernized, of course, but that core feeling and strong songwriting is there. The band clearly cares about their songs more than they do about anything else, and hot damn does it show. Sadly, I forgot they were only an opener and was left wishing their set was twice as long.

The Wombats were up next and last, and I finally got to hear jaw -dropper “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” at long last. Overall, they put on an incredibly catchy and solid show, but I put them in the same league as Two Door Cinema club when it comes to my thoughts on their genre. Actually, I’m not even sure what the name of the genre would be to be honest. It’s dance-y indie rock with a reliance on a bunch of electronic elements that add a solid club beat to most songs and inspires listeners to jump a lot. That’s precisely what happened on every song and, while I can’t say it isn’t really fun to experience, it just never equals the power of a flat out rock and roll show to me. They really are two different beasts, and they set out to accomplish very different things. Their similarity is that each is worth taking in, and a good one will always leave you with a smile on your face. I’m happy to report that I left with a smile on my face Wednesday night, and that’s the only thing that matters.

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