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Silversun, Won’t You Come

June 25th, 2010

Silversun Pickups – The Wellmont Theatre – June 24, 2010

Silversun Pickups - The Wellmont Theatre - June 24, 2010
A band’s live music is normally looser than the recorded version, sacrificing sonic quality for performance, or the group will try to replicate those recordings, resulting in a limp live show. Fortunately, Silversun Pickups did neither of those last night at The Wellmont Theatre—or perhaps they combined the best of both to faithfully recreate their distinct sound while using their live energy to add to the experience.

Silversun Pickups opened with the slow-burn-to-explosion “Growing Old Is Getting Old,” off their most recent album, Swoon. Moving steadily to older material, they wrapped with their most popular songs, throwing “Kissing Families,” “Panic Switch” and the blissful Lazy Eye” all into the last quarter of the set. To say they were faithful to the recorded versions of these songs would understate the incredible hold they have over their live show. From the barrier up front to the mezzanine in back everything was clear except for the musical haze created by the three-headed aural monster that is lead singer-guitarist Brian Aubert, keyboardist-ambience master Joe Lester and bassist Nikki Monninger.

At first Silversun Pickups seemed content to move from one song into the next. But then Aubert paused and spoke genuinely. Not only was he thrilled to play for the New Jersey crowd, but he also joked how amplified that thrill was since he “felt terrible all day,” after drinking too much at the 9:30 Club in D.C. the night before. Fittingly, the show ended with Aubert on his knees mock conducting (à la Willem Dafoe’s character in Boondock Saints) alone onstage while manipulating what was left of the sound feeding back through his guitar. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com