Car Seat Headrest has no right to be depressed, just like their lyrics state in “Fill in the Blank.” Their show in Brooklyn played to a sold-out crowd where they punched up the funk, commanded the audience and had a great time doing all of it.
Tucked away and next to subway tracks in Bushwick is the Market Hotel. The second-floor venue is equipped with large windows where one can see and hear the M train pass noisily just outside. After a steady stream of subways, the opener Gold Connections came out to play. With a new record, Popular Fiction coming out May 11, they played a handful of songs while also peppering their set with some tunes from their self-titled EP Gold Connections.
They opened with “Icarus” which begins as an indie pop song with echo-y guitars and lyrics about love, before it explodes into impressive instrumental chaos and noise. Most of their songs begin that way and draw the listener in with their pop soaked guitars and moody lyrics, but then they erupt into these incredible instrumentations. Their song “Bad Intentions” has some of the catchiest choruses with lead singer Will Marsh singing, “Don’t mind the writing on the wall” over reverb-heavy guitars. They finished their set with “Plague 8” an epitome of indie songs with harmonious guitars that perfectly complement Marsh’s vocals.
Shortly after Gold Connections finished, Car Seat Headrest was up on stage and played a cover of the Devo song “Uncontrollable Urge.” Lead singer, Will Toledo electrified the crowd as he ran around the stage and the large band that accompanied him. After explaining to the crowd that Naked Giant was touring with Car Seat Headrest and that’s why there so many of them on stage, Toledo launched into “Cute Thing.” While he may not have Frank Ocean’s voice as Toledo laments, his vocals are a wonderful, deadpan, mumbling accompaniment to the spirited guitars and drums. After some witty banter with the crowd, they played “Bodys,” and enlisted someone’s help to time the song so that when they performed it the following night on the Tonight Show it fit into the time they were allotted. “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” opened with wandering and melodic keyboards followed by angsty lyrics and Toledo shouting into the microphone, “It doesn’t have to be like this.” Other songs like “Fill in the Blank” and “Twin Fantasy (Those Boys)” maintain their Car Seat Headrest sound, but underneath all the lo-fi are funky guitar textures that were more noticeable during the set.
Seeing as there was no backstage, the band agreed with the audience to go directly into their encore, but not before the crowd chanted “one more song.” They closed out the evening with “Nervous Young Inhumans” and had the crowd dancing and jumping that it felt as if the floor would collapse beneath their feet and catapult them all into the ground floor below.
Fill in the Blank
Destroyed by Hippie Powers
Sober to Death/Powderfinger
Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales
Twin Fantasy (Those Boys)
Do What You Gotta Do
Nervous Young Inhumans