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Posts tagged ‘Jonathan Pierce’


Concert Review: The Drums – Wicker Park Fest – Chicago

I am still recovering from last weekend.  Chicago was the venue, there was a bachelor party and I was in charge.  A group gathered to pay homage to a dear friend.  Steaks were smashed, craft beers were demolished, and humiliating headaches were shared. Being the childhood friend, I knew little about the crowd of college friends, but a special bond was formed post-destruction.  While the fantastic beer selection helped bridge the gap, it was a special band from Brooklyn that brought the boys together.

The Drums played headliner to not only Saturday night at Wicker Park Fest, but also bachelor party weekend.  When front man Jonathan Pierce took the stage, the atmosphere flipped and fans were zoned in.  The Drums are one of those bands that seem to grow in my favor on a monthly basis.  Their self-titled debut and 2011 follow-up Portamento have been heavy favorites in my rotation and the songs translated brilliantly live. I had seen the Drums last year at Lollapalooza and enjoyed them, but this time I was completely blown away.

A group of new friends traded high fives as The Drums traded songs from their two full-length releases. The crowd was huge and they were singing along throughout.  Pierce maintained his charismatic persona throughout while plowing through a heavy set. The Drums delivered a magnificent setlist that kept momentum while demanding my full attention.


If He Likes It Let Him Do It

Baby That’s Not the Point

I Need a Doctor

Book of Stories

I Need Fun in My Life


What You Were

How It Ended

Best Friend

The Future


Let’s Go Surfing


Me and the Moon

I still can’t decide if it was the atmosphere, the bachelor party festivities, or simply The Drums, but this was the best live set that I have seen this year.  The Drums offered a laid back coolness that provides the perfect soundtrack to a summer evening.  While segments of our group were scattered throughout the venue, all agreed that The Drums were it.  While the body continues to heal, I will spend this week diving back through The Drums catalog….they’ve earned it.

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Written by Brett McGrath


Album Review: The Drums ‘Portamento’

Poppy 80’s bleeps followed up by a vocal resurgence of Morrissey’s dramatic tones, welcome to Portamento! The Brooklyn-based New Wave rejuvenators released their sophomore LP, and the result is gnarly.  The listening has been done and the hint of a second year slump is slam danced by The Drums.

Jonathan Pierce and Jacob Graham found each other after a brief hiatus in 2006 to form The Drums.  The electrophonic group Goat Explosion had ran its course. Pierce and Graham manned up other projects before reuniting the Post-punk vibe with The Drums.  Tubular reach and bright identity move by the group to continue to pull from influences such as The Smiths and Joy Division. A lot of people my age were too young for groups like this so we are all trying to absorb their catalogues as quickly as possible.  The Drums provide themselves as a seamless fit during this musical understanding.

Portamento is an awesome album in 2011 because the formula has not changed.  We all saw the polarizing rediscovery with MGMT’s Congratulations.  Casual fans hated it, dedicated fans were split, and hardcores…well remained hardcore to their vision.  If you were a fan of The Drums self-titled album, then there is no reason to battle this conflict.  The single, “Money” picks up where “Let’s Go Surfing” and “Me and the Moon” left off. Whether it is visiting the moon, riding a wave, or demanding to buy you something The Drums always have a very kind way of demanding your attention and expressing their fun.

The track “Please Don’t Leave” brings me closest to the Smiths comparison.

 Please Don’t Leave

Please Don’t Leave

Please Don’t Leave

Where Will I Go?

Where Will I Go?

Irking, bleak pleas for reconnection show doom as Pierce’s vocal chords pop, yearning for that lost one.  This formula helped build Smiths nation 30 years ago and assists with creating The Drums’ buzz. I hope that by avoiding the slump and staying true to their roots will allow The Drums to elevate to the next level in the indie hemisphere. Their close attention to their ancestors earns them this progression.

Written by Brett McGrath