When I think of the Antlers' music, I think of pure emotion. Their music evokes an honest yet strong reaction, usually of the melancholy sort. With that being said, the emotions were in full swing when the Antlers made a stop to Trees in Deep Ellum. The trio from Brooklyn, along with a touring fourth member, is touring in support of their fifth studio release, Familiars. It's been a few years since I've seen the Antlers (6/8/11 at the Loft) and definitely took note when their tour dates were released. Even though I would have preferred to see the Antlers play in a smaller venue, the size didn't take away from the intimacy of the music and how it touched the audience.
One of the best qualities I like about the Antlers' music is that it can be simply beautiful and amazingly loud at the same time. In their live setting, the band accelerates at that. With more horns than in their past shows, and past albums for that matter, the band was powerful and precise. Vocalist Peter Silberman's voice would typically float through the venue, sometimes sounding more like an amplified whisper instead of actual sung lyrics. But when the timing is right, he can drive the point home with ferocity. The band played a good chunk from Familiars but also included choice cuts from Burst Apart including "I Don't Want Love" and ending their encore with the wonderful "Putting the Dog to Sleep". But you could tell a large contingent of the crowd were there to hear songs from their acclaimed album, Hopsice. And the band did not disappoint, performing "Sylvia", "Epilogue" and a stripped-down version of "Bear". I know the Hospice tracks resonate more with the casual fans but they evoke those honest reactions I spoke of earlier, as I saw multiple people crying during parts of "Epilogue" and "Bear". It was a great sight. Of course, I would tell you to catch the Antlers when they visit your city. They are not to be missed. Photos of the show are below:
The Antlers @ Trees, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 12:30:00 PM Rating: