The Drums from New York came on to a fog enshrouded stage as an extended bit of Kraftewerk's "The Man Machine" played over the speakers. A more jaded listener would hear this band and dismiss it as copping that whole Interpol and Strokes thing, but the Drums are going for something very different from that.
Singer Jonathan Pierce really has that blue-eyed soul thing down, and he's willing to look the fool to keep the show entertaining. At one point in the set, in fact, he told us that it was okay to dance and loosen up a little because we couldn't possibly look as foolish as the band did on stage. After he said this, the crowd actually did move some more.
Throughout the set, Pierce struck poses and gestured dramatically, adding to the fact that this band really knows how to put on a show instead of just getting up and playing the music, as both guitarists locked in with each other and executed flourishes with their instruments in time with Pierce.
Vocally, Pierce recalled Ian McCulloch and Jim Kerr, while the music, with obviously sequenced synth parts filling in on atmosphere and backing melodies, had a lush, layered sound informed by catchy pop structures. The Drums closed out their set with a version of "Down By the Water" that was more powerful than the recorded version thanks to notably robust percussion, drum beats that hit like gunshots.