By Terrance Pryor
Armor For Sleep bid a final farewell to their fans in the NJ/NYC area on Saturday. The sold out crowd at Irving Plaza anticipated a night where they would get to see one of the favorite bands perform on stage one last time.
The Company We Keep (sans Justin Pierre) appeared in New York City for the first time this past weekend. The entire outfit took the stage wearing all black (except for vocalist Amy Brennan who rocked a corset with a black & white striped skirt). While there were some men in the crowd howling suggestive things to Amy, the group laughed it off and said that it must be "New York humor".
TCWK brought out a few new songs mixed in with material from their recent 7-inch. Amy displayed splendid fierceness for a newcomer as she lunged towards the crowd demanding their undivided attention. The band had a strong presence, which was expected for outfit featuring members of established music acts. TCWK ended the set with their unique cover of At The Drive In's "Pattern Against User", which confused and mesmerized the crowd at the same time. Their 7-inch was released in April via MAD Dragon Records/The Boombox Generation. You can read my review for it here.
This was the biggest show that Those Mockingbirds have ever performed. The five-piece seemed nervous before the gig and honestly so was I. I've been following the quintet from Montclair since their inception back in 2009. I've seen them perform in front of 10 people and I've seen them sell out Maxwell's. My heart started beating fast as the band got set to take the stage in front of a sold out crowd.
As the screen was raised, vocalist Adam Bird's charm and wit got the crowd fired up. At that point, I knew that the band was gonna kill it and they did just that and more. Whether it was the flowing violins from violinist/keyboardist Tory Anne Daines or guitarist Jonathan Gianino's shrieking guitar parts echoing throughout the venue, the band was on their A+ game. This is a band made for bigger venues as they easily commanded their surroundings. Bird & Co. will be recording all new material in the near future.
Ashtree is an act from Denver, Colorado that took the stage to perform piano-driven rock ala Lydia and Mae. Vocalist/pianist Will Johnston had a ton of energy as he twirled his hair and flailed his arms around. While they rocked out, you could easily sense the growing tension that emitted from the crowd awaiting the headlining act.
When Armor For Sleep announced their hiatus back in 2009, it devastated all of their fans. The band didn't perform for a year and a half prior to the announcement, which led to rumors spreading around the scene. Many felt as if the guys owed their fans one more show. AFS knew this and decided to have their reunion at this year's Bamboozle Festival in Asbury Park. That, however, wasn't enough as the quartet announced three farewell shows set to take place this summer in NYC, Chicago and Pomona.
The crowd chanted "Armor" as the band graced the stage one last time in NYC. Without saying anything, they dove right into "Awkward Last Words". Vocalist Ben Jorgensen dedicated "My Town" to all of the NJ people who came out that night to see them. After "Basement Ghost Singing", the group left the stage but the crowd wanted more as the cries of "one more song" intensified by the second.
Ben came out to a massive ovation as he performed "One Last Regret". The rest of the group joined him on stage for "Car Underwater", the outfit's most popular track. After the epic "The End of A Fraud" finale, Armor For Sleep was vindicated by roaring applause. You can check out video from the evening and AFS' setlist below.
Armor For Sleep setlist
Awkward Last Words
Remember to Feel Real
Walking at Night, Alone
Frost and Front Steps
Dream to Make Believe
Being Your Walls
Who's Gonna Lie To You
The Truth About Heaven
The More You Talk, The Less I Hear
Slip Like Space
Stay on the Ground
Basement Ghost Singing
One Last Regret
The End Of A Fraud