Nov 16, 2012

The War On Drugs @ Oxford Art Factory

In a huge week for live music in Sydney, The War On Drugs more then held their own Thursday night at the Oxford Art Factory. The Philadelphia foursome ably displayed their guitar driven melodic rock to full effect. Here for the Harvest festival their music washed over us with waves of warm and fuzzy guitars. It was a small night but a damn good one.

The show took a little while to warm up. Perhaps the mix felt a little muddy early on or maybe it was a smattering of idiots in the crowd who felt the need to make the viewing a slightly unpleasant one. Nevertheless "Brothers" was still trying to impress and "Come To The City" was pretty stellar with its syncopatic drumming. The show really took off in the second half though as Adam Granduciel's dylanesque vocals took us under his wing. "Black Water Falls" was sublime and hypnotic. "Best Night" showed off the band's great strengths. Warm and supple guitars, rhythmic drumming and woozy keyboards. It all adds up to a potent mix. I then got a little delirious as they pulled out their classic "Arms Like Boulders" and also gave us a stripped back version of their little gem in "Buenos Aires Beach". They also gave us a stupendous closer in "A Needle In Your Eye #16" which was pounded and stretched out to 10 minutes of guitar paradise. This would turn out to be their last song. I don't know if this was by design or the venue intervening. Either way I couldn't complain. The band had given us their all and more. A little slice of Philadelphia rock greatness.

Set List
Your Love Is Calling My Name
The Animator
Come To The City
Comin' Through
Taking The Farm
I Was There
Baby Missiles
Black Water Falls
Best Night
Arms Like Boulders
Buenos Aires Beach
A Needle In Your Eye #16


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