I was giddy with excitement the moment I knew I was going to this show. Honestly, Bradford Cox is a musical talent and it shows on stage. Memory Tapes released something mesmerizing in Seek Magic and have burst onto the indie scene; not to mention this was Memory Tapes first performance in the States. Slowly, the masses descended upon the Bell House in Brooklyn and filled up the main hall in anticipation for Memory Tapes, as there were no local bands on the bill.
Memory Tapes is the moniker for Jersey's own Dayve Hawk, who also has gone by Memory Tapes and Weird Tapes. Pegged as a one-man band, Hawk actually performs onstage with a live drummer and a backing track from a trusty MacBook. I was very impressed in how the songs from Seek Magic turned out live, though it was apparent that the tempo and transitions of the songs were dependent on the backing tracks. Not a big deal, it's just something I noticed. The crowd was very into the set, bobbing heads in agreement with the music and giving strong applause to each performance. Overall, their set was pretty solid and with only a handful of live shows under their belt, I would say they're onto a very good start.
After the Bell House crew cleared the floor of Memory Tapes' gear, alone sat a solitary chair in the middle of the stage. Bradford Cox, who goes by Atlas Sound and is the frontman of Deerhunter, took his seat and happily greeted the capacity crowd and began playing "The Screens", a song from his self-released Virtual 7" No. 8. He then began playing another newer song, "Te Amo", previously known as "Untitled" or "Untitled Jam"; his first effort was defeated by his failing looper, causing him to replay the song. Unfortunately, six minutes into the song, the looper again stopped and the song came screeching to a halt; the crowd applauded regardless, as the song to that point was top notch. The next three songs were "Walkabout", "Shelia" and "An Orchid", all from his latest release, Logos. The following two were new songs, the first entitled "Come Home"; a lengthy, emotional song. Secondly, "Flagstaff" was a folk number that was very minimal outside of the effect-laden beginning and end; it also tested Bradford's high notes on occasion. Both were very good. He then ended his set with "Attic Lights", another song from Logos.
After a brief step offstage, Bradford walked back towards the cheers to play an encore that included a rendition of "Criminals", a surprise performance of Deerhunter's "Spring Hall Convert" and finally ending his show with "Logos". Afterward, Cox was humbled by the crowd and graciously thanked everybody was attending, stating that playing New York is something everybody wants to do and that every time he plays here, it's like the first time. He was also very impressed with the Bell House, acknowledging the great atmosphere and said that he would like to come back. After seeing him twice during CMJ, I would have to say that this was my favorite show of his that I've seen; I prefer the solo performance. It was an excellent show. Thanks again Bradford. Videos of Memory Tapes and Atlas Sound can be seen below:
Update: All videos have been uploaded and posted.
Atlas Sound / Memory Tapes @ Bell House Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 6:03:00 PM Rating: