The Rapture’s set at the Marquis Theater on Saturday night was just about perfect to bid adieu to the summer. It also presented a chance to re-acquaint yourself with the whole New York dance-punk feel this band arguably anchored in the early 2000s. Sweating, thumping, jumping and dancing, the packed crowd was enveloped in the near-rave feeling of an end of summer party as the four piece played a strong set of mostly older material.
For almost exactly an hour, lead singer/guitarist Luke Jenner belted out lyrics with that characteristic voice –- one that could’ve easily been a sample of Public Image Ltd.-era John Lydon — over dance-crazed post-punk. Or maybe it was more punk-crazed post-dance? No Matter — the Rapture’s sound was the perfect mashup of “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me” Cure and “Flowers of Romance” PiL. Strong, looping bass and innovative guitar licks that screamed a sort of handmade techno, backed with droning keyboards and near-dub rhythms on speed.
They started out with the latest album’s namesake, “In the Grace of Your Love” which brought a sound anchored in a strong remix of old-school R&B to the dance, and things got better from there. The clear highlight of the show came in a medley of sorts towards set’s end. Just as the Marquis seemed to peak in heat and adrenaline, they strung together a thread of tunes from “Whoo! All Right – Yeah … Uh Huh,” into “House of Jealous Lovers” and then into “Echoes,” and the fun level was pushed up another eleven notches.
Aside from being too short –- the set plus encore just barely clocked in at an hour long -– there was really no downside to the set. No real surprises, but the crowd seemed just fine to be along for the ride.
Jenner spent a good amount of time off the stage and amongst that sweaty throng, too, first walking with the mic and singing, later surfing, before the band wrapped up. His enthusiasm reflected the atmosphere perfectly, and showed that this band is back on an upswing –- one they deserve.
Jason Bach is a Denver photographer and a new contributor to Reverb.