September 30, 2014
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Brooklyn, New York
Touring in support of their seventh album (and surprise release) Pe’ahi, last night Danish noise-pop duo The Raveonettes unleashed an apocalyptic racket on a packed, willing Brooklyn audience.
Stepping delicately onto the stage at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg, Sune Rose Wagner stroked his guitar tentatively, as if encouraging it to wake up. A cry of “louder” came from the depths of the capacity crowd, and a sly smile traced across his face, he knew that ninety minutes from then no one would leave unsatisfied.
A decade-plus into their formidable career, The Raveonettes have established a secure place for themselves in the indie rock firmament. New releases are greeted with respectful reverence, and well-planned tours result in large (but not too large) gatherings of devoted fans, well-prepared to worship every distortion-laden riff and echoplexed sigh.
Wagner and partner-in-crime Sharin Foo, supplemented by a human version of a drum machine, launched into the set with confidently restrained power. The first few offerings combined a couple of songs from the new album, including the opener “Endless Sleeper,” with selections from their growing discography, and the audience responded warmly as expected. As the set progressed, however, the show transformed from a showcase of individual songs into a sonic maelstrom of fluid textures and emotions. The volume rose, the drums became more electronic sounding, the extraordinary light show beamed over the crowd, yet all the while the duo’s ethereal vocals soared above the cacophony. The crowd was enraptured, at once transfixed by the band and lost in its own reverie; there were instances of hippy-like dervishing that strangely did not seem out of place.
As the audience exited the venue, there was a sense that this show was “next-level.” Indeed, The Raveonettes delivered an evening of rock-and-roll brilliance, a privilege to have witnessed. FL