The Drums hold a special place in my heart, especially their live show. The first time I saw them (and the last time before Tuesday night) was in 2010 in St. Petersburg, FL. They were touring with Surfer Blood and were one of the most pleasant surprises I had ever encountered. It was also a bright moment filled with dancing and singing in what was an otherwise relatively dark year.

They most definitely did not disappoint this time around either. Jonny Pierce’s sweet dance moves — or exaggerated gestures, rather — were just as entertaining as they were in 2010, and the band sounded great. If you’re unfamiliar with The Drums, they do a fantastic job of wrapping morbid lyrics about mortality and death with other, more relatable everyday issues (such as being broke) into upbeat, pop sounds that make you want to dance and sing along.

Playing at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sept. 16th, The Drums opened with “Bell Laboratories” and “Let Me” from their upcoming album Encyclopedia, to be released Sept. 23rd. “Bell Laboratories” added some validity to Jonny’s promise of the new album being “more realistic.” I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I’m assuming it’s going to be darker.

The crowd started to wake up when the band played “Me and the Moon” from their 2010 self-titled album, and then “Days” from their 2011 album Portamento. Full disclosure: My biggest pet peeve with people in New York is that they don’t dance at live shows. There were some people kind-of-sort-of dancing, but there definitely should’ve been more feet moving for this show. The crowd became most active for “Money,” and rightfully so.

My second favorite part of the show was right before they played “Best Friend,” when Jonny said, “This song is about my dead best friend” (just like he did in 2010), then looked at the setlist and said “wait, no it’s not.” {Looks at band, looks back at setlist.} “Yes, this song is about my dead best friend.”

He also shared that his doctor instructed him not to drink that night, and that he didn’t, but that the crowd’s energy had him feeling drunk. Or something to that effect… Maybe it’s because I’m a chick, but I honestly wanted to know that he’s ok and couldn’t drink only because he’s on antibiotics or something. He’s certainly one of those people that has that effect; you just want to be his friend.

By far, my all-time highlight of the show was that for the encore, they played the entire Summertime! EP, performing “Don’t Be a Jerk, Johnny” and “Saddest Summer” for the first time since 2010, and ending with “Down By the Water.” The performance truly brought me joy, as it reminded me of one of the simultaneously “funnest” (I know that’s not a word) and saddest summers of my life.

The entire set list:

Bell Laboratories

Let Me

Me And The Moon


I Can’t Pretend

Kiss Me Again

Book Of Stories

Best Friend


U.S. National Park

Book Of Revelation

Face of God

I Hope Time Doesn’t Change Him

I Need A Doctor

How It Ended

Wild Geese



Don’t Be A Jerk, Jonny (First performance since 2010)

Make You Mine

Let’s Go Surfing

Saddest Summer (First performance since 2010)

Down By The Water (Tour debut)

Article by: Shannon Byrne

If you liked this article you also might like Alt-J


1 Comment

Leave a Reply