Monday, September 28, 2009

Julian Plenti (Paul Banks) Played The Guggenheim - Pictures, Review, Setlist

On Friday night we stopped in at the Guggenheim for the second in the museum's "It Came From Brooklyn" concert series. This time around, the main event was Paul Banks' solo project Julian Plenti, with a solid dose of comedic input from MC Eugene Mirman.

Mirman, who we hadn't seen since his show with John Wesley Harding, was in typically solid form. While the gig was a bit non-standard (lots of short bits between the other acts), Mirman delivered a solid take on his usual routine. One highlight included a "bouncer audition" in which Mirman convinces an English bouncer to recite ridiculous one liners.

Banks took to the stage around 10:30, with a band significantly larger than his usual four piece. In addition to Banks on guitar, there was an additional guitarist, bass, drums, and a three piece string section. The mix of instrumentation served to flesh out the sound, and moreover it served as a solid foundation for the atmospheric sound of Julian Plenti.

And really, that was the big question of the night: How would Banks' set away from his Interpol band mates shape up? Well the simple answer is "quite well", but we'll give you a bit more than that. Banks maintained his trademark monotone vocal style, but the overall vibe of the show was completely different. Not only was Banks talking between songs and smiling for much of the set, but the feel of the show was one of a band enjoying themselves and not being afraid to show it.

One of the more interesting points of the evening was Banks' choice of covers. They included America's "Horse With No Name" and the Pixies B-Side "Into The White". In short, not exactly what you might have expected. That being said, both tunes actually played out extremely well, and served to underscore a set that undeniably confirmed there is a whole other side to Paul Banks, and that side is Julian Plenti.

Setlist here
More pictures at the HAD Archive