The Dear Hunter performed their second album, Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading, in its entirety at The Gramercy Theatre Thursday night. This was the first of two nights at the venue that they would play to a sold out crowd. On the second night they would play their third album, Act III: Life and Death, in its entirety.
The Dear Hunter is the creation of Casey Crescenzo. The first three albums titled Act I, Act II, and Act III, play out a story that follows the protagonist known as The Dear Hunter. The next two albums after the release of Act III, the band chose to deviate from the storyline. In The Color Spectrum, The Dear Hunter brilliantly created an album consisting of 36 songs where the feel of each song corresponds to a different color of the spectrum, starting with Black and ending the album on White. This August The Dear Hunter returns to the plot of the Acts with the release of Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise.
The last time I went to the Gramercy Theatre was actually to see this very same band, about two years ago. That show still stands out as being one of my favorite shows. Still, every time I see The Dear Hunter they continue to exceed my expectations. Casey’s voice stuns me and the beauty of the songs is heightened in the concert atmosphere. The onstage banter between him and guitarist, Rob Parr, is entertaining but what always gets me is the genuine gratitude that you feel from Casey when he speaks to the crowd. On this night when he said with such sincerity “thank you, you guys are great.” The crowd erupted in cheering and applause that lasted so long that all Casey could do was smile and say “wow.”
When a band dedicates a night to playing an entire album there isn’t much room for surprises with the set list. But it allows the fans to hear songs they may not otherwise get to hear live. One of the very last songs on the album the band remarked they had only ever played a few times before. I chose to attend the night for their second album because I felt it was my favorite of the two but once I was at the show I couldn’t help but wish I was also attending the following night. I started the night out in the photo pit having a great time. I was almost too busy singing along to focus on my shots. Once I had to rejoin the crowd, I saw just how packed the venue had become. I had a very hard time maneuvering my way, not to mention every place I stood I couldn’t see a thing. I eventually found my way to the stairs that lead to the balcony and stood just above the crowd so I could see. The crowd appeared to be a little stiff, but it was clear they were wrapped up in the performance. It wasn’t till the eleventh song on the album that the crowd finally started to liven up. This song, Red Hands, happens to be my favorite song of theirs to see live. It is one of those songs that you can get completely lost in and feel one with the crowd.
Once the album was completed the band exited the stage for a short break before their encore performance. When Casey reemerged on stage, he was alone. He told the crowd he wanted to perform a new song from Act IV for us. With just his acoustic guitar, he began playing the new song titled Wave. With this beautiful song Casey showed off his impressive vocals. It was truly a moment that had the crowd enthralled. After one particularly powerful display of his vocals the crowd began cheering in admiration. For the second and final encore song the rest of the band joined Casey on stage to perform Home. Casey informed the crowd that they were ending with a low key song and not on the typical high energy note. He said, “but if you join us in singing along it will truly be a special moment.” The crowd happily obliged.
Article: Chrissy Lush