It was a tough choice after seeing almost too many shows but my favorite show of CMJ 2010 was The Drums at Webster Hall.  Obviously I had heard The Drums record after all the buzz they had been getting but never saw any video of their live show.  Not knowing exactly what to expect I decided to check out their show on Wednesday, Oct 20th.  Let me tell you the full story….

Wednesday started with some CMJ panels and then the official press mixer at Hotel On Rivington.  Good party, but I didn’t really know anyone so it was a little strange.  Soon enough I met two other “lost souls” that seemed to not know anyone either.  Alex, a writer for AOL Spinner, and Melissa, A DJ/writer from California.

The music snob crew

It is great to meet other music snobs.  We all wanted to check out The Drums/Surfer Blood show so off we went.  We all assumed our press badges would get us into Webster Hall without a problem.  Wrong! Seems we needed a seperate ticket to get upstairs to the main show.  There were some lesser showcases that we got into on the lower floors but decided we must get into the show we wanted to see.  We scoped out different ways to get upstairs but all were guarded by large security man.  Until we discovered a back staircase with a velvet rope in front of it, but no guard.  We went for it and made it, even strolling past some security as we got to the top of the stairs.  Remember, just act like you belong!  We were in and climbed to the balcony to get a better view right behind the sound board.

Now for the show.  The Drums came out and the crowd erupted.  The influence of 80’s new wave was immediate, as the band came out wearing satin jackets, converse Chuck Taylors, and rolled up jeans.   Then they burst into music and the image was complete.  Lead singer, Jonathan Pierce, slithered all over the stage, swinging the mic and singing on his tippy-toes.  He made it hard for the audience to look away from him.  Very engaging.  He introduced the song It Will All End In Tears by saying “this is a song about a girl I hate very, very,very much.”  I got a very ‘Joy Division’ feel from them, which is a very good thing in my opinion.  Fun, upbeat dance music with semi-depressing lyrics.   I recommend you go out and get their self titled album immediately and get to a live performance the next time they are within 100 miles of your hometown.

Here is a video of them performing their hit “Let’s Go Surfing”at KEXP’s day stage at the Ace Hotel, New York, as part of the CMJ music marathon 2010.  Small stage with no room to move but hopefully you get the idea.


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