I was gearing up to write this intro for my recording of The Radio Dept. live at the NYC Popfest last month, then I re-read Chromewaves' recap of the night and realized I (and you) would be much better served by sticking with his summary. So go read that and come back. Ok. Done? Alright then.
Like Frank, I traveled to Brooklyn specifically for the Swedish trio, fulfilling a longtime wish to watch them play, and like him, I'd agree that seeing them was simply about the songs, not about any on-stage energy (or any lack thereof). My compulsion to see them perform their heartfelt (and heartstring-tugging) music directly in front of me wasn't going to be defeated by any possible deficiency of stage presence, or the absence of a drummer. In fact, the only stage presence I required was that they were standing on one. And they were, so I was happy.
New songs, old songs, b-sides, they played 'em. The 12-song set felt painfully short, but I'd be saying that even if it had lasted all night (although the army of post-show indie-pop dancers might have been slightly let down). I did spend 8 hours alone in my car for it, after all. The band played a couple songs that will no doubt be found on the eventual next album ("Clinging To A Scheme"), although the absence of new single "David" (out June 24th, downloadable below) was notable (they did perform a b-side, "Messy Enough").
Here's their set, and here's hoping they return to our shores sometime in the next, oh, decade or so. More please.
the fine print... If anyone has an issue with these Mp3s being made available, just let me know (my contact info in the 'nac faq). Live sets recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps Mp3s. Files are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.