Washed Out – Terminal 5 – September 18, 2013
As New York City cools down from summer and its venues make the busy transition to their packed fall lineups of big-name acts, some shows always seem to stand out as signposts of the changing season. That was certainly the case when Ernest Greene brought the laid-back synth pop of Washed Out to Terminal 5 last night. For more than an hour, the man who started messing with dance music in his Georgia home four years ago showed why he quickly became such a seemingly overnight Internet musical sensation with his older work, while backing it all up with some great new material. Playing what Greene said was the biggest headlining act he’d ever had, he helped treat the packed-tight venue to a true mid-week dance party.
Over the years, the one-man chillwave band has grown his live act to five members, which is always a welcome thing to see—and hear. With the addition of a full drum kit, a dedicated keyboard player and even some occasional upright bass, the songs sounded just as (if not more) lush and dense as they do on Greene’s records. The band truly amplified songs like “Eyes Be Closed,” the opening track on Within and Without, which closed the set, and his newer tunes, like “All I Know,” off of this year’s Paracosm. Unlike plenty of bashful electronic-skewing artists, Greene was back on the microphone between songs, chatting and keeping the crowd’s good buzz going while he bounced around his short discography. —Sean O’Kane