The War On Drugs

By Wal Reid

Artist:  The War On Drugs

Date / Venue:  Thursday December 18th, The Powerstation, Auckland

Philly's finest, The War On Drugs led by the enigmatic Adam Granduciel, a musical wordsmith fronting a group that has set alight the musical world, rolled into town last night to much fanfare.  

Kicking off the nights procession, the band ripped into ‘Burning' & ‘Under The Pressure' to a packed sold-outPowerstation, the band wasted no time reeling off the hits from their latest album ‘Lost In A Dream' to an audience that was content to stay all night if given the chance. War On Drugs create spaces for their music to be digested, a cocoon where Granduciel seems most comfortable creating his jangly guitar concoctions, in a set up that's more akin to a recording studio, and probably good reason too.  

‘Arms Like Boulders' and ‘Beuenos Aires' off their seminal 2008 debut Wagonwheel Blues, were gladly welcomed by the dancing audience, the songs denote musician Kurt Vile's connection when he played in the band, the songs timely reminders of the illustrious partnership between the two.

If you had told me that a band that resemble "Wilco with a drum machine" would revolutionise the new wave of music, I would've been none the wiser, however Granduciel's guitaring and lyrical sense are homage to an album named by Q Magazine and The Guardian as Album of the Year, and the accolades continue to flow.  

Granduciel acknowledged the crowd with sparse banter in-between the music, however that didn't faze the punters, as they launched into the singles from their latest offering, the broody ‘Red Eyes' and the Dylan-esque ‘Eyes To The Wind'. Looking around the room, the concert seemed well attended by all ages, quite surprising were the number of parents with teens present, such is the lure of the guitarists' muse ‘Baby Missiles' ‘Black Water Falls' and ‘Your Love' weren't left out of the bands repertoire, as they strutted and mesmerised the crowd for a solid two hour show, in reflection it was nothing short of a ‘spiritual awakening' and given the exasperated but looks on people's faces post-gig I'd say most of them will probably be gobsmacked for the rest of the week.