The Postelles, Red Palace, Washington DC

The Postelles, Red Palace, Washington DC

A good performance, despite the set being regrettably shortened.

Rating:

New York City band the Postelles finally released their debut album last Tuesday, playing a pair of shows at Mercury Lounge in their hometown. But fans should be and were grateful that they continued the celebration, bringing it to Washington and towns further afield on this album release-themed tour. There was some initial apprehension that this show would not be as good as their two previous headlining gigs in the Nation’s Capital (September 2010 and February 2011), being that DC is a very diverse, vibrant town when university is in session and in mid June, spring semester is over and most kids go home. But they needn’t have worried; the mix of the curious, dedicated fans and some drunk coeds makes for an interesting audience to be in. They put on a good performance, despite the set being regrettably shortened by a venue-imposed curfew.

Their set begin with ‘Stella’, a misleadingly simple song with almost nursery rhyme lyrics (example: ‘if you mockingbird don’t sing / can you still love it for its wings?’). It’s a great example of how this band can take what seems like a straightforward love and twist it into something more interesting and indeed more exciting, complete with shouted backing lyrics (‘Stella, you’re on your own! / Stella, you’re on your own!’). ‘White Night’, most people’s first taste of the band when it was offered as a free download and released as the title track of their debut EP last year, receives an expected rousing reaction. So does EP track ‘Sleep on the Dance Floor’, jangly guitars and thudding drums all the way. Also peppered into the band’s set are two covers: Postelles’ renditions of Wreckless Eric’s ‘(I’d Go the) Whole Wide World’ and the Rivieras’ ’60s summer hit, ‘California Sun’.

So you’re probably wondering how and when these drunk coeds make their presence known. Before the band start into the bass line-propelled ‘Can’t Stand Still’, a gaggle of girls shout at lead singer Daniel Balk, saying how ‘hot’ he is. When he tries to deflect this attention onto his bandmates, commenting on bass player John Speyer’s smart vest, this unsurprisingly lead to shouts of ‘that vest is hot!’ Even drummer Billy Cadden, way in the back of the stage, doesn’t avoid this adoration, as his v-neck also gets props. Have they reached the heights of Beatlemania? Hardly. Still, the shouts of (drunken) love from the audience result in bemusement, and one can only guess that similarly mental scenes in large venues in front of much larger crowds are in the Postelles’ future.

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