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Caspian Kick Off New Tour at Sold-Out Rough Trade NYC

September 21st, 2015

Caspian – Rough Trade NYC – September 19, 2015

(Photo: Dan Rickershauser)

(Photo: Dan Rickershauser)

Caspian would be the first to admit that they poured heart and soul into their latest release, Dust and Disquiet. The grueling writing process and time spent in the studio has kept the road warriors off the road for some time now. But with the album complete, out next Friday and stream-able now via the New York Times, they’re now ready for the road again, kicking off a lengthy tour Saturday night at a sold-out Rough Trade NYC in Brooklyn.

If the Beverly, Mass., post-rockers had any first-show jitters, they weren’t apparent. Although the venue took a sonic beat down. It’s a small room for a band that packs such a giant sound, so intense that at certain moments you could feel the sound rattle the sweat from your brow. Their songs rarely begin this intense—they tend to emerge instead out of ethereal guitar swells that are kind of like a world all of their own. Then they build up the tunes to the point where they take over that world, wringing out the feel of a song like a wet rag. Some numbers end similarly to how they began, and it takes some coordinating on the audience’s part to know when to clap. As one song returned gracefully to its quieter moments, someone out of the attentively quiet audience finally yelled, “Amaaaazing” and was joined by a chorus of woos and applause. “Arcs of Command” provided the high-water mark for rocking the fuck out. The song started with an almost abrasively bright synth line that cut through their guitars, mimicked by the drum first until the entire band was pounding its hypnotizing rhythm. It built to the point they were laying a smack down on their guitars in unison, everything so loud that the hee-hawing synth was drowned out.

Strobe lights showcase just how much sweat dripped off them while they did this, an impressive amount, with drummer Joe Vickers coming down on his drums like he was whipping them to go faster. Lead guitarist Philip Jamieson has got to be something like seven feet tall, and him beating down his guitar center stage only added to the intensity of everything else. Seeming genuinely humbled by the enthusiastic Brooklyn reception, he was comparatively soft-spoken when talking to the audience. Caspian have had a remarkable 11-year run, and the night didn’t feel so much like a return to form as much as a big step forward for an already accomplished band. Early reviews of the latest album are overwhelmingly positive, and I don’t know how you top the intensity of how things sounded Day One of the tour. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks