It’s not officially autumn until someone tries to light a jack-o-lantern during an indoor concert. On behalf of Pancakes & Whiskey, welcome to autumn. The New York City Fire Department attended the final show of The Dear Hunter’s tour last week, and once Irving Plaza got the all-clear, Casey Crescenzo really lit the place up. “That fire alarm was intentional. It’s just a thing we do at shows now,” he joked. Jumping hard from beat one, his fans quickly explored a new kind of safety hazard.
Engulfed in the mystical forest from the cover of their newest album, Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise, the post-hardcore rockers told their tale using lullaby-like interludes and sudden, spooky drops. As the madcap progressions grew more and more resonant, each lyric he sang had an almost operatic intensity to it. With such an experiential performance, it was no wonder that everyone was having tiny religious experiences from their spot in the audience.
Though The Dear Hunter have always been devoted to one long, intricate story, this particular performance seemed to be less chronological. Their newest work was blended into a varied setlist of “Wait,” “In Cauda Venenum,” “The Thief,” “Mustard Gas,” “The Old Haunt,” “The Bitter Suite IV and V: The Congregation and the Sermon in the Silt,” “Things That Hide Away,” “Misplaced Devotion,” “Waves,” “A Night On The Town,” “Smiling Swine,” “Home,” “The Church and the Dime,” “Life and Death,” “King of Swords (Reversed),” “Where the Road Parts,” and “Whisper.”
Some people heroically fist-pumped to each impact, while others were almost in tears. But the whole crowd embraced each other, as if they’d listened to the Dear Hunter together a million times before. In a way, they have.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Shayne Hanley