Nearly two years since headlining the PLAY:stl Festival, the Antlers returned to St. Louis ready to showcase their newest album, Burst Apart.
Laurel Sprengelmeyer, better known as Little Scream, opened the evening with an intriguing sound bouncing between fragile ooohs and ahhhs and breakneck guitar thrashings. The entire band appeared to genuinely enjoy their time on stage, treating the crowd to a rendition of “The Rainbow Connection” (Happy Birthday Judy Garland!) and something akin to a Wile E. Coyote / Roadrunner reenactment with the bassist constantly being foiled in his attempt to overturn the drum set. Did anyone else get a St. Vincent vibe from Little Scream’s set?
Photo notes: Mostly primes, but I tried to squeeze in the 14-24mm f2.8 for a few shots to capture the band’s playful side when they were jamming out.
Judging by the fact that most of us in the room didn’t even know a thunderstorm had rolled through the city, the Antlers’ performance was louder and more aggressive than expected when compared to their more fragile and melancholy recordings. Possibly attributable to the extra guitarist aiding on tour or the dark electronic mood casted by Darby Cicci from his encirclement of equipment, songs like the encore “Two” changed from inward narratives into anthem-like sing-alongs. But the emotional resonance of the group is its strength and singer Peter Silberman still kept the (bruised) heart of the songs intact, keeping the front rows transfixed on his delivery. With the crowd’s roaring applause at the end of their initial set and encore, it was great night to be “happy sad together” (my favorite Antlers descriptor from Bryan Sutter).
Photo notes: Silberman is a perfect frontman to shoot with his great facial expressions and constant cradling of the mic. Drummer Michael Lerner will probably be the most difficult to get, with the three other members (especially Cicci’s electronics) blocking angles, so if you have something like a 85mm f1.4 you’ll probably want to bring that along.
The Administrative Stuff: