The New Pornographers Perform High-Spirited Show In New York’s Brill Building
There’s no denying the sheer utter happiness found in the grooves of the New Pornographers‘ sixth studio album, ‘Brill Bruisers.’ If you saw the band’s recent performance on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman,’ it’s obvious that exuberance not only exists on their studio tracks, but also within their live performances; this was quite evident throughout the New Pornographers’ intimate set last night (Sept. 4) in New York City.
In the gutted lobby of the Brill Building just a few blocks north of Times Square, the New Pornographers built a small concert venue for a couple hundred of their die-hard fans. Partnering with NPR Music, the band celebrated the release of ‘Brill Bruisers’ with a free 70-minute show — packed with new tunes and fan-favorites.
More than just sharing the same name with their latest LP, the New Pornographers chose the Brill Building for this intimate show for a much more meaningful reason: throughout the history of music, the Brill Building has been home to writers, musicians, publishers and studios, all of which contributed to some of the most successful hits of the big band era. Even beyond that time, the likes of Phil Spector, Paul Simon, Neil Diamond, and Burt Bacharach (and plenty more) were often established in the building. So, as a nod to that history — and a nod to their own sound and music — the New Pornographers not only named their new album after the building, but honored its release right where history was constantly made.
Opening with two older tracks — 2010’s ‘Move’s and 2007’s ‘Myriad Harbour’ — the New Pornographers put a heavy focus on ‘Brill Bruisers’ by performing six brand-new songs from the record. Even though it’s only been out of a little over a week, it seemed like every single fan packed into the makeshift concert hall knew all the words to the new tunes.
With several different vocalists taking turns belting out lyrics and members jamming on various instruments at any given moment, the New Pornographers’ live show feels like one big family band. There’s a sense of camaraderie between the musicians and the crowd, and it couldn’t be more obvious that everyone onstage loves what they’re doing. Cramming as much as they could into the short set, frontman Carl Newman and the extraordinary Neko Case spent virtually no time chatting with the audience. Instead, they, along with the rest of the band, focused on putting together a show those in attendance would never forget.
If you weren’t lucky enough to be at the show — or you just want to relive the experience — check out our exclusive photos and the night’s setlist below. The New Pornographers have stateside dates scheduled well into November and then have plans for a live run throughout Europe. Get their full tour schedule here, and if you haven’t yet, find details on ‘Brill Bruisers’ — available as a beautiful multicolored vinyl pressing in addition to the CD and digital formats — here.
The New Pornographers — New York City’s Brill Building
The New Pornographers — Setlist, Sept. 3, 2014
‘The Laws Have Changed’
‘War On the East Coast’
‘Testament to Youth In Verse’
‘Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk’
‘The Bleeding Heart Show’
Watch the New Pornographers’ ‘War On the East Coast’
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