Early in the Wednesday night show at Granada Theater, The Drums’ Jonny Pierce told the packed Dallas house, “This is the second to last show on this tour. This is exactly the kind of energy we needed to keep us going.”
The energy the band received matched what The Drums brought. Nobody would have guessed that the band had played nearly every day for the last month as Pierce commanded the stage through song and dance to shake away the bedroom blues.
The whole show was a testament to how rabid of a following can be created in music’s digital age. The Drums are obviously not an unknown band, but they are certainly not well-known. Still, the bottom floor of the Granada was filled to the brim with an audience that knew all the words to all the songs. It was unexpected to say the least.
The band’s past two albums, Abysmal Thoughts and Brutalism, have been the solo creative work of Pierce, and though Pierce shunned any direct glow of a bright spotlight, his touring band stayed behind in the shadows, letting Pierce take center stage.
The audience was happy to have Pierce all to itself, evident as nearly every song from the band’s decade-long tenure was met with a chorus loud enough to match the volume of the microphone.
Opening up the set with the tender track “Days” from 2011’s Portamento, the band must have felt the voices coming back at them from the last row of the audience building across the Granada’s tiered floor.
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Even a new track like “Body Chemistry” was met with the whole hall in harmony. Of course, how could one not sing along with a chorus like “I know some good luck and a good fuck / A nice glass of wine and some quality time / Is gonna make you mine / (But it's not what I'm trying to find).” An earworm chorus like that is sure to have anyone singing along by the song’s end.
Most of the evening the audience swayed and grooved to the mellow dance numbers The Drums are known for; all that mellow swaying turned into an all-out mosh pit when the band got near the end of their set and turned up the heat with “Let’s Go Surfing” from the band’s first, self-titled album and with Portamento’s lead single “Money.”
The band cooled things back down again with their new dance-y little pop ditty “626 Bedford Avenue” and signed off with Portamento’s swan song “How it Ended” before returning for a short encore.
As the night closed, the fans filed out into the lobby to catch a glimpse of Jonny Pierce signing records and shirts at the merch booth. Maybe it was the light perspiration in their hair. Maybe it was their satisfied smiles. Maybe it was the fact that at least 150 people stuck around after the show for a quick autograph. Whatever it was, one thing was clear: every single person in that audience had been moved by The Drums’ magic.