Tag Archives: White Rabbits

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Hamilton Leithauser’s Remarkable Friday Night in Williamsburg

February 27th, 2017

Hamilton Leithauser – Music Hall of Williamsburg – February 24, 2017

Hamilton Leithauser – Music Hall of Williamsburg – February 24, 2017
Call it New York City’s other sold-out Hamilton show, although this one showcases not a rapping founding father but one of the best voices in rock right now, the strained high range of Hamilton Leithauser’s, which will catch you off guard with its sheer power. “I use the same voice I always had,” he belted out in the closing lines of “Sick as a Dog,” the opener on Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It was the first display of his voice in full force, firing off like the starting pistol for a remarkable night of music, the second of three local sold-out shows. Multi-instrumentalist and collaborator Rostam Batmanglij, Eric Harvey of Spoon, Greg Roberts and Stephen Patterson of White Rabbits—whom Leithauser had met touring over the years with his previous band, the Walkmen—joined the frontman.

They sounded like they’ve been playing together forever, a band perfectly suited for Leithauser and Batmanglij’s bluesy rock songs that fit perfectly well within the American songwriting canon. “If the man that you need honestly wasn’t me, tell me honey who could that be?” sang Leithauser in a desperate pleading voice over a wavering organ. With its lush sound, his 12-string took the slow-building “In a Black Out” from simmer to a boil and back to a simmer. He told the audience a story about attending a wedding where the father of the bride made a toast and broke out into “Wild Mountain Thyme.” Apparently an awkward affair for everyone else at the wedding, Leithauser fell for the guy in the moment, writing the tender song “The Bride’s Dad” from the father’s perspective. Knowing the song’s background set an incredibly vivid scene of the affair.

The catchy “1,000 Times” followed with hundreds of voices joining in for the chorus. Free-jazz saxophone and Batmanglij’s piano rambling like a rolling river closed out the set with “Rough Going (I Won’t Let Up).” Leithauser’s wife, Anna Stumpf, and the opener, Lucy Dacus, came out for an encore performance of the dreamy “1959.” If the Walkmen were the first act of Leithauser’s career, this collaboration is a hell of a second act, one that shouldn’t see a curtain call anytime soon. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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White Rabbits – Webster Hall – April 12, 2012

April 13th, 2012


Photos courtesy of JC McIlwaine | jcmcilwaine.com

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See White Rabbits at Webster Hall on Thursday

April 10th, 2012


Stephen Patterson (vocals, piano and guitar) began playing drums with much older jazz musicians in Columbia, Mo., which helped him learn to play other instruments. “It was always a struggle for me early on to learn how to play instruments that had notes. Once I started viewing the keyboards as 88 drums, it really opened up the way I can play.” In the meantime, Greg Roberts (guitar and vocals), a coworker at Streetside Records, was in a punk band with Alex Even (guitar) and Matt Clark (drums), and they asked Patterson to join. Things didn’t really begin to take off until Roberts bumped the original singer. After that, White Rabbits began making music and touring. But the next thing to shape the band was moving to Brooklyn and having Patterson’s childhood neighbor Jamie Levinson (also drums) round out the sound. The rest, as they say, is history. They soon became known for the high-energy live shows, switching instruments onstage and notable covers. With Rustine Bragaw as the new bassist, White Rabbits (above, doing “Temporary” on Late Show with David Letterman) released the well-received Milk Famous last month and they play Webster Hall on Thursday night.

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White Rabbits – The Bowery Ballroom – January 24, 2010

January 25th, 2010

White Rabbits - The Bowery Ballroom - January 24, 2010

Photos courtesy of Jen Macchiarelli | www.jennylow.com

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From Haiti to Williamsburg

January 25th, 2010

Haiti Benefit – Music Hall of Williamsburg – January 23, 2010

Zach Galifianakis

Zach Galifianakis

In the wake of the earthquake that devastated the people and capital city of Haiti, individuals and organizations have responded with an outpouring of humanitarian aid. Telethons, tweets and texts have raised millions of dollars. However, a sustained effort on the part of global citizens is necessary as Haiti continues to recover and rebuild. Toward that end, The Bowery Presents and Brooklyn Vegan teamed up to assemble an incredible group of comedians and musicians for a Haiti benefit on Saturday night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. The full lineup consisted of Zach Galifianakis, Britt Daniel (of Spoon), Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver), St. Vincent, Janeane Garofalo, Wyatt Cenac (of The Daily Show) and the live debut of John Shade. While each performer did an abbreviated set, the night featured some hilarious jokes and breathtaking songs.

Musicians and comedians alternated their sets with Leo Allen and Bobby Tisdale acting as MCs. Jokes ranged from Cenac making fun of PETA to just about every comedian ragging on Williamsburg hipsters. “This used to be a good neighborhood,” yelled Galifianakis during his show-stealing performance. The slovenly and unkempt comic kept the audience off-kilter with a barrage of absurdist one-liners. He even pulled off the difficult task of bringing satire to the night’s cause when he joked, “I was doing Haiti benefits before the earthquake.”

The musicians in attendance provided a bevy of incredibly heartfelt originals and covers. Daniel appeared with White Rabbits drummer Jamie Levinson and opened with a stripped-down, guitar version of John Lennon’s “Isolation.” His distinctive falsetto and off-the-cuff vocals also colored my favorite song on Spoon’s new album, Transference, “Who Makes Your Money.” St. Vincent followed with Jackson Browne’s “These Days” and the National’s “Mistaken for Strangers.” All stood transfixed by St. Vincent’s soft guitar work and lithe vocals. Vernon joined in for her song “The Party,” and the two collaborated on a crowd-pleasing rendition of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” For all in attendance, the event showed an outpouring of support and a gracious display of talent. —Jared Levy

Photos courtesy of Jen Macchiarelli | www.jennylow.com