Los Angeles-based alt rockers Silversun Pickups – authors of hits like Lazy Eye, Panic Switch and The Royal We – played the first of two nights in NYC at Terminal 5 on Wednesday before moving over to the shiny new Brooklyn Steel two nights later, and we were able to catch them with Minus The Bear, who also happened to be minus an audience when they took the stage. That’s pretty sad since Minus The Bear sold out Webster Hall last time they were in town. But, it’s a bit of a different crowd for the Seatle-based grungers on a tour with SSPU whose fans are used to decidedly different music.
Minus The Bear is fantastic live, but we’re going to skip ahead because we were there for Silversun Pickups and their 16-song set that felt more like 20+ given the length of many of the band’s tunes. One thing is certain, when you pay for a ticket to see Silversun Pickups, you get your money’s worth. Even with his arm in a cast, guitarist/leader singer Brian Aubert put on a captivating show full of energy and seemingly never missed a beat despite his limited range of motion, while bassist Nikki Monninger hopped around in her red dress and the rest of the band did their thing and kicked ass for near two hours.
The band is still riding their most recent album, 2015’s Better Nature, and feated 7 songs from that album, though if history is any indication – SSPU released albums in 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015 – we should be expecting a new album from the group next year. As was mentioned, the set featured 7 tunes from Better Nature – Circadian Rhythm, Friendly Fires, Latchkey Kids, Nightlight, Ragamuffin, Tape Deck and The Wild Kind – while also including tunes from each of the group’s three other albums, along with their 2003 debut EP Piksul. Of course, the aforementioned hits in Lazy Eye, Panic Switch, and The Royal We were included in the setlist as well, as was a three-song encore featuring Kissing Families and Dots and Dashes in addition to The Wild Kind as the night’s final song.
There’s always something special about seeing a band for the first time, and that holds true for Silversun Pickups who impressed me on stage as much as they have in the studio, and I would have happily seen them again at Brooklyn Steel were it not for HIM playing their final North American show the same night. You’re probably not going to want to miss the next Silversun Pickups show, they’re most certainly worth the cost of admission. Check out the photo gallery below.