May 30th, 2017
Frightened Rabbit returned to the New York scene again, closing out the month of May to play Brooklyn Steel, NYC’s happening new music venue. As usual, the Hutchison brothers brought their emotional barnburners and stinging ballads, as well as some anticipated ramblings by Scott Hutchison about life.
Sharing a beer on stage between songs, which is what you do if you are an indie rock band from Glasgow, Scott seemed excited to be playing once again in the Big Apple, a place that the band played four times in the past year. Even as Scott joked “We play New York more than we play Glasgow”-– this show brought some exciting tweaks to the setlist, as the band treated the audience to some different gems.
Added to the repertoire, from their most recent release—Painting of a Panic Attack, was “Blood Under the Bridge”, heard for the first time in New York, as well as the LP’s opening ballad–“Death Dream”. “My Backwards Walk” and “Good Arms vs Bad Arms”, both off fan favorite “The Midnight Organ Fight”, were also more than well-received fresh additions. The band likewise included “Square 9” from Sing the Greys, which went unrepresented the last time around.
Overwhelmingly, the night was driven by Grant’s powerful drumming. The potent pounding included the hiss of his cymbals, the gasping assertion of his thudding kick drum and the pleasant stammer of the snare—all motivating forces throughout the show.
In between tunes, Scott spoke about anything that came to his mind, usually something that would make him laugh and make him want to share with the audience—such as the difference in the politeness of restaurant workers in the USA compared to Scotland. Apparently, the band must be impressed by their treatment here in the States. Returning then to singing, Scott’s fissured voice delivers every word with emotion, while then easily transitioning back to his musings and making us laugh. At one point, he made sure to give a call out to the people up in the balcony, telling them it is his preferred way to see a show- as it allows you to talk, get to the bar and easily use the bathroom. This was just Scott being his usual personal fun self, a born entertainer.
Frightened Rabbit, to our delight, seems to be delivering non-stop performances since the April 2016 release of Painting of a Panic Attack. Along the way, they have added to their fan base, receiving rightly earned radio airtime and are more than satisfying the growing audience. This isn’t surprising since their songs are filled with melodies of escape, independence, and reinvention and have vast heartfelt choruses that are made to be shouted from the top of the earth. Put all of that into a live performance and you fill the space of the industrial Brooklyn Steel with passion and incredible music whether you’re on the balcony or not!
Article & Photos by Angelo Santoro