Friday, September 11, 2009

Kings Of Convenience Played Bowery Ballroom, Feist Joined - Pictures, Review

Kings Of Convenience have been without a new record or a US performance in close to five years. So, when we discovered that the dynamic duo had not only a new album (entitled Declaration Of Dependence) on the way, but a performance scheduled at the Bowery Ballroom, we were more than a little excited. Last night HAD stopped in at the intimate theater to catch the show, and we couldn't be happier that we did.

The two have an unquestionable baseline of song delivery, which on the surface is heavily subdued: mellow vocals and quietly dueling guitars underpin their style, and reenforce the title of their earlier record Quiet Is The New Loud. However, once one becomes immersed in the overall vibe of the pair's show, there arise unquestionable dynamics from song to song.

Specifically, the vocals and guitar play demonstrate high variation, especially across the band's various recordings. While their earlier material is remarkably poppy and melodic, the band's new material drifts unquestionably more into bossa nova territory. In doing so it lost perhaps a small measure of its melody, but added a rhythmic diversity to the set.

The band themselves provided a stark contrast to the music's restraint, interacting extensively with the crowd, joking around, and generally seeming comfortable and happy to be in the room. It was clear that the duo not only have a warm relationship with the fans, but were truly grateful that they had such a great room to play in.

Perhaps the most surprising part of the show came in the encore when Feist appeared on the venue's balcony, and proceeded to join the band for two songs. It's no secret that she had recorded with the band on record, but given the audience reaction, this was as much a surprise for everyone else in the room as it was for us. Suffice it to say: adding Feist to an already outstanding night of chilled out tunes was more than a little awesome.

As for the audience reaction, it was clearly a show that the fans had been aching for: the crowd was simultaneously enthusiastic, thrilled, and worshipful in the intimate space. Even as the set ended and the lights had come up, the crowd was unrelenting in their applause and desire to hear more from the band. With the new record dropping next month, it seems only logical that the band would be back for more. While the band doesn't have any US dates currently scheduled, with love like this, how could they not dive into the fray? We'll certainly keep you posted.

Declaration Of Dependence drops on October 2nd.
Many more photos at the HAD Archive.