It’s hard to imagine that a band consisting of one bassist and one drummer/vocalist could emanate mosh pit-level energy for the entirety of an hour-and-a-half set. Yet, that’s exactly what Canadian rockers Death From Above 1979 did Thursday night.
The duo brought down the house at the Newport last night, playing a wide array of songs spanning its entire career –– including hits off its flagship mid-2000s record “You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine,” which was released less than two years before it took a five-year hiatus from music.
Songs like “Black History Month” and “Romantic Rights” off the aforementioned album were played effortlessly to a crowd of nostalgic late-20 somethings and eager, first-time-listening teenagers alike.
The set list also featured certified head-thrashers off Death From Above 1979’s latest release, “Outrage! is Now.” The new and old tunes melding together in the set proved that Death From Above 1979 is a band that makes consistently solid music. Sure, it’s evolved and occasionally uses synthesizers now, but even its newest tunes have a consistency that’s almost enviously effortless for the duo.
The only noticeable caveat of the set was that lead singer/drummer Sebastien Grainger didn’t speak a word in between songs until over half the performance was over. It would’ve been nice to hear more from Grainger, who’s known for his sense of humor and ability to poke jabs at the crowd, as well as himself.
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the night, however, did not come from Death From Above 1979. The seasoned headliners brought with them fellow Toronto, Canada natives The Beaches to open the show.
The all-girl, no-nonsense rock band performed a set that sounded tight sonically and out of control atmospherically. Lead vocalist and bassist Jordan Miller handled the crowd in a way that was subtly seductive, while the rest of her group managed to keep the crowd entertained from start to finish.
The crowd was wild. I was drenched in sweat. A full beer was spilled down my backside by a head-thrashing teen. And I wouldn’t have a Death From Above 1979 show any other way.