Live review: Real Estate @ Moe’sBy Colin St. John | November 4th, 2011 | No Comments »
There’s a palpable satisfaction, often, in an antagony between music and a more immediate reality. Sometimes there can be nothing more pleasurable than listening to, say, the glum sighs of the Smiths or Joy Division while soaking in the summer sun, convertible top down. Last night, the opposite end of the spectrum became a joy: a warm, BBQ smoke-filled bar set the stage for the breezy tunes of Real Estate. The frigid Colorado night, though just through the front door, couldn’t have been further from the mind.
Real Estate has given rise, perhaps too flippantly, to many summer-oriented labels; the Brooklyn-slash-New Jersey troupe traffics in the kind of coasting, Beach Boys territory that brings to mind palm trees and waves rushing in — if not bikinis and muscle beaches. There’s an inherent subtlety to Real Estate’s records and, certainly, its live act.
And so the group’s persnickety game with the soundman at the beginning of the show was understandable. Bassist Alex Bleeker would ask for this or that in his monitor — as many groups do — but it paid off in spades. From the opening chords of “Easy,” its first song of the night (and the first on its new record, “Days”), the guitars were crisp and resonant, the wah effects bouncing. Frontman Martin Courtney’s whispering lyrics could be muffled, at times, but the mashing further added to the wavy groove of the whole affair.
“Out of Tune” was a highlight, jammed out and utterly chill. It was delicate and faint yet enthralling. “Green Aisles” felt like an audible road trip, totally in sync as it rolled. As melted snow leaked through the Moe’s ceiling, Courney sang, “The winter was coming / But that was all right.” And, so it was.