Gomez – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 3, 2009

April 6th, 2009
(Photo: Jay Blakesberg)

(Photo: Jay Blakesberg)

It was like a perfect storm, really. The economy is in the toilet. Jobs are disappearing. We changed Presidents and the world still hates us. And if that weren’t enough, it had been raining all day. Basically, it was just another long week in a string of them. The audience, it seemed, just wanted to let loose.

But indie English bands have long weeks, too. Gomez had already played a record-release concert for their sixth studio album, A New Tide, at The Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday. And just three nights later, they were already back in town, at Music Hall of Williamsburg, to finish their East Coast tour—their 13th show in only 15 days. The band, it seemed, just wanted to let loose.

“It’s the last night of the tour, so I have to have a good fucking time,” pronounced Tom Gray (vocals, guitar and keys). And with that Gomez launched into the first song of the night, “Shot Shot.” It was the beginning of a barn burner. The music was expertly played, and the show was filled with great voices—as Gray, Ian Ball (vocals and guitar) and Ben Ottewell (vocals and guitar) took turns singing lead and harmonizing perfectly all night long—plus densely layered instrumentals—anchored by the talented rhythm section of Paul Blackburn (bass) and Olly Peacock (drums)—and, at times, a flurry of four guitars as the band stretched out several songs, jamming to the crowd’s delight.

The guys in the band seemed loose and carefree. And their happiness came across as they covered a wide swath of their musical history, from older tunes like “Revolutionary Kind” and “Rhythm & Blues Alibi” to songs from the new disc, like “Little Pieces” and “Win Park Slope.” It seemed like there was a competition between the band and the audience to see who could have the most fun. But in the end, on a Friday night in Brooklyn, everybody was a winner. —R. Zizmor