Canopy Club was packed last Thursday as indie rock stormed the CU. The Walkmen and The New Pornographers both brought amazing energy and sets, but The New Pornographers were definitely the more anticipated event of the night.
To start off the night The Walkmen took Canopy Club’s stage. They started their set with “Blue as Your Blood” off of their latest album, 2010’s Lisbon. I was a little surprised that as the first song of the night they chose this slower track, it was not exactly an impactful way to kick off the night. They soon got the crowd excited by playing their single, “Angela Surf City” next.
Sound wise The Walkmen were on point. The guitar picking and vocals were clear and sounded right off the record. Sometimes this can be off-putting in a live performance setting, but personally the passion and clarity in frontman Hamilton Leithauser’s vocals is one of the elements I find most appealing about The Walkmen. And as far as clear instrumentals, who wants to hear sloppy guitar playing?
The crowd seemed quite content; a sea of bobbing and shaking heads keeping in time with the pounding drums. For the most part The Walkmen kept playing songs off of Lisbon, but they did play some older songs, featuring some nice piano parts, as well as a new song.
At one point Leithauser told the crowd that they were in the CU last year playing the Krannert lobby, “They let us play in the coat check…it was pretty cool.” I’d definitely say The Walkmen have earned the stage. They had an overall cool energy, and although they may not have had the crowd going nuts at the beginning, we were sad to see them leave. When a girl in the crowd literally screams “Please don’t stop! Don’t stop!” you know you’re doing something right.
Although The Walkmen put on a solid show, the moment they were off stage the crowd began to buzz with excitement for The New Pornographers. I could hear murmurings about gazing upon Neko Case’s face all around me. When the band walked on stage the crowd responded with immediate cheering.
They began playing right away, opening with a loud and fun “Moves.” They kept this energy for almost their entire set. A great aspect of having such a large ensemble (there were eight of them on stage) is that they have the ability to mix things up (switching singers, adding tambourines, accordion, etc.) that keep the audience engaged. More of their songs as opposed to The Walkmen’s allow for the audience to clap along and participate in the music.
Like The Walkmen, they too performed many songs from their latest album, Together (also from 2010). A personal favorite was “Crash Years” from that album. The band did take a few moments to slow down and breathe with songs like “Adventures in Solitude.” Their vocal harmonies were awesome during the entire show whether it was a slower or faster paced song.
They brought back the rocking energy to end the show before raffling off a bike, joking that it was “for profit.” They brought the winner on stage to play tambourine for the next song. No one wanted their set to end and with a three song encore it felt like maybe it wouldn’t.
The Walkmen and The New Pornographers put on great performances, providing an exciting night for their audiences. The New Pornographers were exceptional and I found a new appreciation for them after seeing them live for the first time.

About The Author

Aside from being a music enthusiast I’m a junior majoring in Communication and minoring in Gender and Women’s Studies. I joined WPGU’s music staff my sophomore year – I have to say it’s nice having some purpose for all of the money I spend on shows. Converse with me about sci-fi/action/fantasy films and I’ll be your loyal friend forever.

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