Frightened Rabbit Leaves Them Wanting More

August 4th, 2011

Frightened Rabbit – Music Hall of Williamsburg – August 3, 2011

The sold-out crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg was getting antsy waiting for Glasgow’s Frightened Rabbit to start last night. Walking onstage to cries of “New York loves you!” the group smiled and dove into the first song of the night, “Modern Leper,” off their second album, 2008’s The Midnight Organ Flight. Lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Scott Hutchinson laughed as he said, “Cheers,” and then proceeded to prepare his audience for a long one. “I hope none of you guys are in a rush to get home tonight ’cause we’re gonna play a lot of songs.” He wasn’t lying, gifting fans with nearly two hours of solid music.

The group—Hutchinson, his brother Grant (drums), Billy Kennedy (bass and guitar), Andy Monaghan (guitar) and Gordon Skene (guitar and keys)—manages to have a full sound without being too dramatic or overpowering. There can be as many as four guitars sounding off at once, melding together with keys and drums, yet it somehow works. If you blink for just a second, you’d miss Kennedy switching from bass to guitar or Monaghan and Skene completely changing spots so they can rock on a different instrument.

Scott admits he’s “shitting himself” as Frightened Rabbit experiments with the new song “Dead Now,” which they’ve only played once before and are not even sure will make the new album. The tune should make it considering how catchy and clever the lyrics are. The music builds up to break down to build back up again, kind of like in “Good Arms vs. Bad Arms.” The ballad begins with just voice and streaming guitars and pedals, creating a peaceful feel. Then suddenly it’s just two guitars continuing and then bam! the drums are back. It’s a jam and then it all abruptly stops. At one point, the frontman, left completely alone onstage, carried on unplugged, which the audience loved. When his bandmates returned, they ended the night with the powerful “The Loneliness and the Scream.” The crowd was hesitant to leave, most likely wishing for another two hours of Frightened Rabbit. —Kristen Ferreira