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Braid Take a Look Back and Step Forward in Their Triumphant Return

July 28th, 2014

Braid – Music Hall of Williamsburg – July 26, 2014

Braid – Music Hall of Williamsburg – July 26, 2014
“We’re a band called Braid,” singer Bob Nanna happily but unnecessarily informed the packed crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night, midway through his band’s set. Just three short years after the ’90s-emo patriarchs reunited for a run of shows that featured full performances of their 1998 classic, Frame & Canvas, the foursome have returned with their first LP since that milestone release. The new album is called No Coast, and based on their reactions, fans are more than happy that this is the way the group has finally returned. And although the new music has been well received, testing it live in front of concertgoers hungry for nostalgia is always a different story.

Braid began the show with “Bang,” the new album’s first-released track, before going right back to Frame & Canvas with “Killing a Camera” and “First Day Back.” That oscillation between old and new got the crowd moving, and it was immediately clear that this mix of throwbacks and new tunes was going to work just fine. The loudest reactions were reserved for staples like “The New Nathan Detroits” and “A Dozen Roses,” which were also some of the few songs that inspired moshing and crowd surfing.

While Braid are no longer playing sweaty sets in low-capacity rooms like they were when they got their start in the ’90s, their sound remains as loud and sharp as ever, with Nanna and guitar player Chris Broach’s vocals leading the way through jut about every song. Nanna, who has notoriously kept detailed records of every show Braid show, reminisced about one of their first New York City performances at the now-closed Brownie’s “to like 5 people.” “We’re from Chicago but we’ve played … everywhere,” he quipped early in the set. And judging from the reception on Saturday night, Braid’s newest effort is a sign that they’ve still got plenty of miles left to travel. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com