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Plundering Pirates - The Walkmen 06/28

Posted by Nika / July 1, 2006

walkmen-1--008.jpgphotos by Geneviève Cartier

Amazingly enough, Hamilton Leithauser’s raspy croon didn’t give out by the end of the show. My friend and I had placed our bets earlier that evening. I had guesstimated that Hamilton’s voice would be shot by the first encore. I was wrong, our favourite Dylan impersonator had us eating crow well after the immense vocal pleadings of “What’s In It For Me”, one of the two visceral encores during the Walkmen show at La Tulipe Wednesday night.

What a wimpy turnout! Even the merch table dude was MIA most of the time, smoking cigs out front. With the success of their 3 previous albums and a few serious hits in circulation, I assumed the place would be packed. The fans that did make it out to the Papineau venue were hard-core though. They loved it, we loved it.

Within two songs, we were all sold. You don’t have to consider yourself a real fan of the Walkmen to flip over their shows. They master their plush sound from A to Z, avoiding all the trappings of pop while banging out songs that will have you hum annoyingly for days. And yes, to the wOOts of the crowd, they played über-hits “The Rat” as well as “We’ve Been Had” (you now, the one from that Saturn commercial).

PLUS: They brought their vintage busted-up tinkly piano we had fallen for on Bows and Arrows. Secondly, Liam O’Neil (The Stills) on sax and Chris Seligman (Stars) on French horn joined the guys for their new A Hundred Miles Off hit “Louisiana”. Awesome.

MINUS: No talking to the crowd! We only got Hamilton presenting a couple of his songs and, most disappointing of all, he didn’t even try his hand at speaking French. A cheesy yet comforting habit most out of-town bands have and frankly, something I have grown quite fond of. Secondly, his voice didn’t give out and I lost some bettin’ money. Damn, rock 'n' roll is expensive.




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