The War on Drugs is an extremely tight, shimmering groove band. They filled Mojo’s to the brim last night and overflowed to the patio, guitars glimmering over all. There may or may not be a band rule that no one on stage looks at or stands by anyone else, but it didn’t limit their tightness. Distant yet intimate—if they’d been playing on a pair of railroad tracks we could’ve taken a great band photo at any moment.
Which is a good way to describe War on Drugs’ music. Distant yet intimate. The Mojo’s crowd last night experienced the entire range of human emotions without actually moving or changing tone for the relentless two-hour set.
We got to know War on Drugs fairly well last night. We talked about dogs.* We talked about a cat. We listened to Adam Granduciel sing about his deepest depressions. It was like a sleepover with beer. It was tender. Fast but gentle, with a glittery foreground. Granduciel’s hair and reverbed guitar solos took us to a missing and better place. The 80s.
*Granduciel has picks with pictures of his dogs on them.
This post was written by Robert Langellier, contributing writer for The Blue Note.