white lies webster hall 25.09.2009

white lies 2

So there I was at good old Webster Hall, the site where I came of age as a wee young lad dancing to house and techno music under the lights. I marveled at all at my fellow club-goers, the club kids in their beautiful outfits and outrageous antics… Those were the days…but I digress.  White Lies returned to the Big Apple and brought their brooding dark post-punk missives with them. The first time I saw them was at the Bowery Ballroom along with the Soft Pack and Friendly Fires. The band put on a solid set that was tempered a bit by Harry McVeigh having throat problems. He valiantly gave it a go but his voice was considerably weak.

That was most definitely not the case Friday night at Webster Hall. I came late to the venue so unfortunately I was only able to catch the latter part of the set by openers, Violens. What I did hear was very promising indeed and I’ll make it a point to see them again. Soon after 9pm, the band hit the stage. The first thing I noticed was that the band definitely stepped up their game and immediately began with Farewell To The Fairground, one of my personal favourites from the self-titled debut record. The audience had already reached fever pitch before in anticpation for the band to get on the stage and from the first song, one could literally feel the floor shake. For a band whose record really didn’t bother the US charts, it’s plain to see White Lies has already garnered themselves a dedicated fanbase who passionately sang every word to every song in the 12 song set.

Any concerns over Harry McVeigh’s voice were quickly quelled as he was able to remind us again why he’s got the most expressive voice in indie rock right now in Fifty On Our Foreheads and A Place To Hide. His voice possesses such a resonance and such a genteel quality, it really enriches their sound and to me, sets the band apart from many of their contemporaries. Coupled with the band sounding much more confident and tighter than before and the reaction of everyone in attendance that the band has truly arrived and is one that won’t be a flash in the pan soon to be tossed out with the bathwater. After all, how can one discard a band who does a Portishead cover?  I think not!

Set List…

Farewell To The Fairground


To Lose My Life

From The Stars

Fifty On Our Foreheads

A Place To Hide


Nothing To Give

Unfinished Business

The Price Of Love

The Rip (Portishead, taken from “Third”)



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