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A Delicate Balancing Act

April 12th, 2012

Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 11, 2012


While some bands deal with lineup changes and internal struggle with years away from the scene and a lack of new music, others face adversity head on and speed right past it. Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s, out of Indianapolis, are certainly in the latter group, and they proved why last night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Throughout an hour-and-a-half show, they featured most of their brand new album Rot Gut, Domestic, their second disc in a little more than two years since a massive lineup change (and fuzzier musical shift).

It was pretty clear how aware frontman Richard Edwards was of all of this, as so much of the set was about balancing the band’s former life with its current one. The set opened with a shred-heavy three-guitar ode to a former NBA player, “Arvydas Sabonis,” a new song that was followed with more from the new LP. But the pleased crowd grew more excited when Edwards and the band mixed in older songs after that, including “Birds,” from 2010’s Buzzard, and one of their most-requested songs, “Quiet as a Mouse,” from their debut album, The Dust of Retreat.

This back-and-forth between the two different Margots continued, putting songs like the new swooning acoustic “A Journalist Falls in Love with Death Row Inmate 16” next to the popular, older “Broadripple Is Burning,” and the much yelled for “Skeleton Key” next to new jam “Ludlow Junk Hustle.” The band wrapped the set with the new single “Shannon,” and Edwards used the encore to blend old and new once more, this time acknowledging how hard that can be for some fans. After the slow-burn country blues of the older “Talking in Code,” he told the crowd, “So that was your candy. Here’s your vegetables,” and then finished the show the way he wanted to with “The Devil” and “Christ,” the last two songs on the new album. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com