Lovin’ Every Minute of It

April 16th, 2012

White Denim – The Bowery Ballroom – April 13, 2012

Plenty of bands use quiet moments, soft playing and even the occasional silence as part of their sound—accentuating the mood and the lyrics or trying to evoke certain emotions. White Denim is unquestionably not one of those bands. During their blistering early set at The Bowery Ballroom on Friday night, there was hardly a slow, quiet moment to be heard. In a word, the Austin, Texas, quartet was relentless, opening the show with an abrupt slap in the face of songs from the D album, followed with an unending pummeling of far-out mind jams, to-the-power-of-two guitar solos and “F yeah!” rock and roll. The hopped-up crowd came for a fun Friday night and got the proverbial crap kicked out of ’em … and loved every minute of it.

White Denim has always put on a great show, but this felt different, like it was a moment for this band that’s been organically building a following for a while now. A year removed from the deservedly lauded D, they were in the middle of a nothing-to-pimp tour and firing on all cylinders. Sure, they played most of D with a sprinkling of other songs in there, but the set list and song selection were irrelevant to the passionate, half-cerebral/half-visceral, nonstop playing. This was live music as its best and the lights and crowd pulsed with an arena-sized energy.

Typically the longer a sold-out show goes on, the more room there is to move as the merely curious decide they’ve had enough, but by the time White Denim was walking off the stage, space was harder to come by than at the start. Sadly it was time to go, but amazingly, the band was reloading to play yet another post-midnight set. The early go-around was so much fun, it was tempting to do it again, but most of us had black eyes, split lips and bloody noses to tend to. We had all just been jumped by one of the best bands out there right now and loved every minute of it. —A. Stein