The Walkmen concert review

The Walkmen

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The Walkmen are on tour in support of their third studio release, A Hundred Miles Off, and, on a quiet Wednesday night, they stopped to do a show in the Inland Empire at the Glass House, which is an alcohol-free warehouse in downtown Pomona.

In around 75 minutes, they worked through 15 songs, nine from the new album. The new material plays well live and fits in with their older stuff. The group opened with the moodiest song from the new album, “All Hands and the Cook,” which effectively set the artsy tone for the night. “Louisiana” also came across especially well, and benefited from an extra trumpet player (Jonathan) that the group brought up on stage specifically for the song’s mariachi breakdown, making it all the more playful. “Another One Goes By,” which is a Mazarin cover, sounded even better live than it does on the album, which is quite a feat. The only new song that I wished they had played was “Brandy Alexander,” but alas, it was not to be.

As far as their older stand-bys, they pretty much covered all of the bases save for “New Year’s Eve,” one of the best songs off Bows + Arrows. Lucikly, the group played “We’ve Been Had,” the most approachable song from their first album, which was also a breakthrough for the group when it was used in a Saturn commercial. “Thinking of a Dream” showed off Matt Barrick’s chops, cementing him (in my mind, anyway) as one of the most talented drummers working today. I’m not sure how frontman Hamilton Leithauser can perform two nights in a row. Hundred Miles does feature more singing and less screaming, but there were a few tunes (“Danny’s at the Wedding” comes to mind) where Leithauser was literally wailing at the top of his lungs.

The Walkmen’s sound is more about creating a mood than it is about rocking an audience, so the other members of the group – Paul Maroon, Peter Bauer and Walter Martin – kept their performances perfectly understated. All in all, it was a good show from a hard-working, underrated band.

Set list:

All Hands and the Cook
Thinking of a Dream
Don’t Get Me Down (Come On Over Here)
Good For You’s Good For Me
The Rat
Emma, Get Me a Lemon
We’ve Been Had
Danny’s at the Wedding
Lost In Boston
Another One Goes By
Wake Up
Little House of Savages
What’s In It For Me
Rue the Day