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Concert Review: Editors Live at the House of Blues in Boston

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I discovered the Editors via the film that shall not be named and was immediately struck by the lead singer’s voice, which is eerily similar to that of Warren Zevon. I quickly downloaded their three to-date releases, The Back Room, An End Has A Start, and In This Light And On This Evening, and decided that I needed more. So, I found myself attending my first Editors show amidst a sea of hipsters and even some parent-accompanied kids, one of whom who was sporting an Editors t-shirt and was brave enough to come up to me and ask me what I was doing while I stood there with pen in hand studiously taking notes. Turned out that, thanks to his father, he’d developed quite the appreciation for such bands as U2 and Depeche Mode, which was rather appropriate considering that the Editors' most recent release, In This Light And On This Evening, was produced by Mark ‘Flood’ Ellis who’d previously worked with U2.

The show opened with the title track from said album and aptly set the tone for the rest with its haunting synth sound switching partway through to an intensity that would come and go in waves over the course of the evening. They played a total of 19 songs which included the entirety of In This Light And On This Evening. Their musical style lives somewhere between Joy Division and Depeche Mode while managing to create a sound unique to them that is illustrated in such songs as "Bullets" in which lead vocalist Tom Smith insists “you don’t need this disease” to "Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool" whose title alone is enough to raise eyebrows and curiosity alike.

The Editors also know how to work their audience, sending them into a near frenzy by leaving the stage without having played either "Papillon" or "Munich," the latter of which earned them their first top 25 hit, but this was quickly remedied when they returned for their encore. Their live rendition of "Papillon" was enough to make the near hour-long trip worth it, its catchy beat creating a palpable energy that could be felt in the vibrations beneath my feet as the room filled with hundreds of fans screaming in satisfaction.

Unfortunately, the Editors may have chosen their opening act a bit too well. Post-show I overheard several people commenting that Brooklyn-based The Antlers “stole the show” and I have to say that I agree. Though they only played four songs they left an indelible mark on me and I’d wager they had the same effect on the people around me as evidenced by them flocking to the merch table post-set to sweep up what they could.

While their first song "Bear" was good, it was their second song "Sylvia" that swept me up and wouldn’t let go. Sylvia being the main character of The Antlers concept album Hospice in which she is dying of cancer and understandably angry and depressed despite the fact that an employee falls in love with her and stays by her side until the very end. This unnamed man is brilliantly voiced by The Antlers' lead singer Peter Silberman who seems to have his own fair share of demons. After moving to Brooklyn he purportedly locked himself away from family and friends and later stated that the songs that became Hospice were originally intended as an “elegy for his planned disappearance.” It’s well known that pain breeds great art and Hospice is no exception. Between the soul-stirring melodies, Peter’s near operatic vocals, and the heart-wrenching journey of a woman whose days are numbered as seen through the eyes of a loved one, The Antlers are ones to watch out for.

About Jennifer Williams

  • Charlie Doherty

    Nice review. Luv going to Lansdowne Street for shows (I’m a native Bostonian). Also, didn’t know Flood’s real name all this time (ha ha) so thanks for that little FYI as well.