REVIEW: Shiny Toy Guns Return for 10 Years of “We Are Pilots”

It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard from Shiny Toy Guns, last releasing an album and doing much of anything else in 2012, and the band has seen changes since that time. Now, though, the band has returned to tour in celebration of the 10th anniversary of their debut album We Are Pilots, and that tour came to NYC’s Webster Hall last Saturday.

I’ve always loved We Are Pilots, so it only made sense for me to go see a band I listened to a lot back in the day. I moved on when the band disappeared, but they’re on the road now and I had to see them to relive all that nostalgia from 2006 when their cover of Major Tom – which is much better than Peter Schilling’s original – thrust them into my playlist forever. So there I was on a Saturday night, when I could have been eating Korean BBQ and getting drunk at Karaoke, chillin’ at my least favorite venue to see a band that was a favorite of mine a long, long time ago. KBBQ can wait, it’s STG, dammit!

Naturally, since Shiny Toy Guns were marking the anniversary of We Are Pilots, they played the album in its entirety. That makes my job easier, I don’t need to go through the entire setlist and tell you all about it. If you’re a fan of the band, you know the album and the setlist is no surprise at all. The encore is where the real magic happened, when I heard Major Tom live for the first time. It sounds different all these years later, hearing it in person, but it’s still as amazing as ever. I’ve always loved their take on a song I never liked until STG did it and made it one of my favorite songs.

The cover of Stripped by Depeche Mode was a nice touch, despite also not liking a single thing about Depeche Mode. It says something about Shiny Toy Guns, though, that they can make me like songs by bands I’ve never liked and will never like. That shows a world of talent and that’s really what music is about – opening people up to new experiences and making them like what you’re doing – and that’s what Shiny Toy Guns does. They take music by obscure artists and bands I would never listen to, put their own spin on it and make me go “holy shit”.

The whole thing wrapped up with You Are The One, which is also the last track on the album, so it fits that the band would cap the 4-song encore with it. I don’t know about anybody else in the place, but I for one am happy these guys came out for the 10th anniversary of the album that got them started. I only hope this isn’t a one-off tour and they don’t go back into obscurity when it’s all said and done. New music from Shiny Toy Guns would be incredible right now, mostly because it would mean another tour and a chance to see them again.

Go see them while you can, though, because it might be a while before you get another chance. In the meantime, check out the photo gallery from the show.