The War On Drugs‘ music can be deceiving. Their atmospheric keys and reverb sends waves of sound gently washing over you, but then you realize that riding over the swells is a solid rock groove. You might shift from gentle head-bobbing to a little toe tapping, and even on to jumping up and down.
At least that’s what happened in the crowd at their sold-out show at The Neptune last Friday night: the dancing got a heck of a lot more enthusiastic throughout the night. The music does have that effect on you (although in all fairness, there was likely alcohol involved).
The opening song was “In Reverse,” which is the last song on the new album Lost In the Dream, which makes it almost an in-joke of an opener. Whether it was a play on the title or not, it set up the show as a moody intro before launching into some of the more uptempo tracks from 2011’s Slave Ambient. The set also included a cover of John Lennon’s “Mind Games” and the by-request “Comin’ Through.”
The Philadelphia band ably shifted moods between slow, atmospheric songs and the more rock-oriented jams that led to the aforementioned enthusiastic dancing. Crowd favorite “Come To the City” even led to a light-hearted argument between singer Adam Granduciel and a fan about whether or not they had played that at their last Sasquatch appearance. Granduciel amiably reasoned that he was sure they’d played it, seeing as they’d had only two full albums at the time.
While they have only three albums and an EP so far, I have high expectations for more waves of reverb and keyboards to come, all good for both gentle head-bobbing and dancing.
Virginia band White Laces opened the show, and their synth-driven guitar rock was an excellent complement to the main act.