On The List :: Milagres @ Glasslands [7.26.12]

Opening for New York's Milagres was a gracious Danish artist who plays under the moniker Indians. Without necessarily delving into the bizarre irony of a northern European playing in New York under the name Indians - he could have been Dutch and named his band Lenape Stuyvesant - suffice it to say Indians possesses great affection for New York City. His last song was explicitly about New York, and he waxed philosophical about the city's charms two other times in between his pretty, looping keyboard creations. The audience felt guilty - or what guilty would look like after three drinks - like one of your college friends just informed you how "cool your parents are." You shuffle your feet and demure. These people know New York is transformative, and they know they take it for granted. Indians doesn't, sounding a bit like a more lonely Porcelain Raft, and his car service is coming to get him at 11:30. New York will have to wait.

Milagres took the stage as a surprisingly tight five piece. Their debut record for Kill Rock Stars, Glowing Mouth, dealt almost exclusively in a distended series of keyboard arrangements drowned in high-fret board guitars. They were the Antlers without taking themselves so seriously. On this night they sound phenomenal, featuring one of the better drummers in the independent rock music and layer upon layer of keyboards, vocals and guitars. On record it can be a beautiful, occasionally challenging listen, but live the music is sharp and urgent. The band opened with "Gone," playing "Lost In The Dark" and "Here To Stay" along the way, crafting the dualism of grieving departures and settling down for good. Appropriately, Milagres closed their main set with album opener "Halfway," a final moment of indecision. The chorus suggests, "I could be halfway from anyone," as Indians packed his gear into the trunk of a black cab. On this night, Milagres, one of the better indie rock bands you can see live, was happy to be trapped by the same city Europeans are loathe to leave.

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