A few years back I took a roadtrip across the United States. I used to think I’d get Ry Cooder in to score the resulting footage but after tonight I’m thinking Adam Granduciel would be the better choice. His particular brand of neo-Americana is perfect for the leftover, nostalgic images of being on the road. Dusty highways, wild abandon and faded blue jeans coalesce perfectly with his laconic drawl, buzzing guitar solos and drifting harmonica lines.
The War on Drugs (previously) open their set with Best Night and during the second verse, Adam sings ‘I’m a thousand miles behind with a million more to climb‘. He looks like he’s had a tough day, maybe a tough week, but there’s something reassuring in the music and those words. Ultimately, my intuition doesn’t lead me astray because this evening we’re treated to the entirety of the band’s accomplished second album, Slave Ambient, which was released last August. Hearing the songs in their album sequence, how they were intended to be heard, lends the set a sense of familiarity and comfort that sticks with the band all night.
Most of the band’s catalogue don’t have traditional song structures. Just like the band, they’re drifters. Each song seems to melt into the next, driven by the steady, motorik-beats and rhythms of Steven Urgo and Dave Hartley. Songs like Your Love Is Calling My Name