Lower Dens have had a good year. With the release of “Nootropics” in early May and overwhelmingly positive reviews afterwards, they have had one of the greatest stretches in their still young career. On top of this recent success recording, I took the trip to see how it would translate live at Kings during their show on Thursday June 21.
The evening kicked off with a non-musical act, something not expected and pretty entertaining. Alan Resnick took the stage as a man who has created the perfect digital copy of himself. His set continued as the comfortably awkward, passive-aggressive comedian interacted with his computer generated likeness albeit somewhat unsuccessfully, all as a part of the joke. It was a new and pleasing experience, as his set was fast enough to keep things moving and different and entertaining enough to keep the experience fresh.
Next it was time for No Joy to shine, a band I had only the minimal amount of experience with before. Their mid-tempo rock could range everywhere from slower hazy surfer rock to faster paced, mid-tempo Yuck-esque drone. If anything, their show demonstrated the growing sense of potential that the band has moving forward, something altogether exciting to look forward to.
However, the highlight of the night was clearly to be expected in Lower Dens’ performance. It was a fairly even mixture of tracks from their new album “Nootropics” and “Twin-Hand Movements.” The sound, which was once again excellent in Kings, proved to be one of the key factors in the success of the show. Their tracks came across as clearly as the record would have intended, and their precision was so spot on that you could tell there was a real sense of chemistry between each of the members. There was a consistently dreamy atmosphere surrounding Kings, as constantly changing patterns reflected on the band and the back of the stage complimented the beautiful shoe-gaze tracks that Lower Dens played. For a show that was not particularly long, it felt as if the show had been going on for days. However, this was the kind of show where you would not mind. One beautiful track after another accumulated for a hypnotizing performance and an amazing night for music in downtown Raleigh.