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Queens Band Closes Out Tour with Hometown Show

December 16th, 2010

Freelance Whales – Webster Hall – December 15, 2010

Freelance Whales - Webster Hall - December 15, 2010
To say it’s been a whirlwind year for Freelance Whales would be a simplification of sorts. One of 2010’s most buzzed about bands went from playing live for the first time to nabbing the opening slot on tour with bands like the Shout Out Louds to headlining packed shows like the one at Webster Hall last night. After a brilliant set by Miniature Tigers, the hometown band began their own, met by wild applause.

Although their debut LP, Weathervanes, is the lone item in their discography, Freelance Whales weren’t afraid to try out new material, even early in the set. But it was that album’s songs that were met with the greatest approval, seen early on when they played “Generator 1st Floor.” Lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Judah Dadone set the pace with upbeat tracks like “Kilojoules” and “Hannah,” but slowed down for the crowd-pleasing “Starring.” Freelance Whales were hardly stationary, constantly switching instruments from song to song—not in a gimmicky way, but because they each had different talents to offer. Dadone left his synth and brought a very thumping bass presence to “Ghosting,” during which the band was joined by the members of Miniature Tigers, who each picked a percussive instrument to smash on during the song.

Harmonium player, and the other main vocalist, Nicole Mourelatos (who goes by “Doris Cellar”) took turns at bass, and guitarists Chuck Criss and Kevin Read swapped glockenspiel duties when they weren’t manning lead-guitar parts. Every member pitched in on vocals, most noticeably (and thrillingly) during the set-closer, “Generator 2nd Floor,” a churning and exciting morbid anthem. Freelance Whales returned for a one-song encore and promised they’d come back with more after they write some new material, a statement that normally sounds stale, but for this young band on the rise it only sounded genuine. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com