Review By: Mike Gerry
Photos By: Robert Mahony
New York City’s TEEN opened the night. TEEN has built quite the following of their own behind two strong albums in 2014’s The Way and Color and 2012’s In Limbo via Carpark Records. These two records show different sides of TEEN with the latest being more synth heavy modern R&B pop, while In Limbo has it’s own synths but more melodic pysch pop.
These styles allows TEEN to take the audience on a journey during their set, whether dancing along to the R&B grooves from these three sisters (lead singer Teeny Lieberson, keyboardist Lizzie Lieberson and drummer Katherine Lieberson) and bassist Boshra AlSaadi, or spacing out to some slowed down jams. The harmonies are strong. Their vocals are flawless. These ladies grab the audience’s attention, where you can’t help but be enamored.
Whether it’s a punk bassline, or any of the other styles, the great thing is it all works together perfectly to form something that is cohesively TEEN. These ladies are at their best live, they are a force on the scene that should have your attention. It’s songs like All The Same, all four in unison, where you can’t help but love TEEN.
See TEEN perform All The Same at The Earl on Youtube here:
Will Butler already has an Academy Award nomination for composing the Her soundtrack along with Owen Pallett, both Grammy Award winning musicians for their work as members of Arcade Fire. Impressive credentials already for this Merge Records artist who just released his debut album Policy this month. Oh yeah, he is also Arcade Fire frontman Will Butler’s brother.
For the first few songs, it was as if the crowd was a little skeptical, could Will step out of his brother’s shadow? Will asked if someone from TEEN was around and could they change his guitar string? What seemed like an acknowledgement of the gorilla in the room, he joked “I have no contingency plan, I thought I was living a charmed life!” This is no Arcade Fire tour, and Will was perfectly ok with it and having fun. And to make sure the crowd knew he was joking and loved TEEN as much as the crowd did, he made sure to say TEEN is amazing, and started the “TEEN TEEN TEEN” chant.
With the drummer placed right up front, alongside Will and the rest of the band, all harmonizing together with each other, this didn’t seem like a new band just thrown together. This band was a unit, loving every minute of playing together. They were all dancing along, no matter the instrument, almost perfectly in sync.
By the 4th song, the crowd couldn’t resist, everyone was dancing right along with the band. There was just Will Butler and his band. There was rock n roll, including the throw back Witness. They killed it with the last song before the encore on Take My Side. The crowd was all in at this point.
Then Will Butler came back onstage for the encore, marched to the very back of the crowd for an acoustic jam, singing his heart out. It was a beautiful way to end a heck of a show.
Sure you can find some of that Arcade Fire influences in the way he pronounces some things. It’s in there, but it’s AF without the same hooks and build that they have. Will Butler has stood out on his own. It’s time for us all to take notice.
See Will Butler perform Son of God at The Earl on YouTube here:
See Will Butler perform Witness here: