I was finally able to cross The War on Drugs off of my ‘Bands to See Live’ bucket list after they played their second of three NYC shows at the Bowery Ballroom on Thursday, March 20th. Just as I suspected, they crooned us all the way through a fifteen song set list, promoting their recent (and I mean two days prior, recent) release Lost In The Dream along with some classics. The band jolted us into their new material with “In Reverse” and then literally did just that, pulling out their Eighties nostalgia piece “Baby Missiles,” off of 2011’s Slave Ambient. The back and forth between albums didn’t persist, but the band welcomed us to a new collection of songs so well-crafted that it left you with a bittersweet ache inside your stomach; the days of playing small venues may be over, but this talented group is sprouting to fame right before our eyes.
The set list required no fillers; no extra guitar solos or electronic loops were needed because these guys record their music as if they were playing live and play live in that same fashion. Lead singer Adam Granduciel connected with the audience, and there was even a “thank you” shout out from a fan followed by a “you’re welcome” from Adam who had a smile as honest as his performance and as weightless as his body that seemed to be floating on the currents of their grandiose success. They even popped some champagne before “Eyes to the Wind.”
And for those that attended the show strictly for their old stuff, the War on Drugs offered a three song encore that ended with “Black Water Falls.”