June 21, 2023

Wednesday played Music Hall of Williamsburg

On Tuesday night, Wednesday the band tore-up a sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg, staking their claim as one of the best indie rock bands on the rise.

Earlier this year, Wednesday released their supremely excellent new record Rat Saw God. It's easily one of the year's best albums and on Tuesday evening, the band ripped through a stellar set of fever-blasted guitar squalls backed by rusted-out country twang and a high-voltage howl courtesy of lead singer Karly Hartzmen. Playing a set that was mostly comprised of said record, the band operated like a well-oiled machine, fitting given they've spent the last eight weeks on the road, which meant that while they should be well settled into their grooves, they may also be at the ends of their ropes. Luckily, the band seemed as empowered and raw as ever and gave us everything they had which resulted in a show of epic proportions. "We've never had people sing along to the songs y'all are singing along to" Hartzmen claimed, rather taken aback at just how devoted the crowd was, but also incredibly grateful which translated to a heightened performance that resonated across the band. Following last year's killer Boat Songs, it's become clear that guitarist MJ Lenderman acts like an ace up the band's sleeve and his mind melting guitar solos rippled with extra sheen, his walls of sound smacking the crowd like waves of sheet metal while Alex Miller's drums thudded like a baseball slamming into a catcher's mitt. "Hot Rotten Gas Smell" hit like a bucket of sludge, the band dropping right into it with oozing, fuzzed-out guitar and padded drums, a heavy song that only hit with more intensity live it set the mood of droned out, dissonant rock that would continue to rage for the rest of the night. "We're gonna play some country music" announced Karly as the band swung into the banging "Chosen to Deserve." The massive, stomping riff rang through the club with country-fried power, the twang blasting over the crowd while the hoedown rhythm locked into the groove for a barnstorming crowd pleaser that felt like bonafide, treasure of southern hospitality. The band's ability to shift from alt-country banger to noise-powered rockers was an inspiring act to witness, their jovial expressions convey the utmost ease mixed with absolute pleasure made it all so much sweeter. "Bath County" was another killer that let Lenderman lean into his J Mascic-inspired sound, the waves of metallic guitar creating layers of sonic turbulence over the band's southern charm. As the band's sound furthered into heavy territory, the crowd responded with exceeding admiration and slowly jumping turned into a moshing before climaxing in a massive pit that opened across nearly the entire floor and expanded as the band crept into the dramatic "Turkey Vultures," before collapsing right at the brink of the song. "I didn't know where you guys were gonna go with that, but you did it at just the right time" Hartzman confirmed as the band continued to bask in the glory of their quickly-growing rise as a band. After acknowledging their pride of calling the South home, the band expressed their disdain for their current elective officials and the numerous policies stopping people from having control over their bodies or confirm their gender identity, they dedicated the scream at the end of their show-closer "Bull Believer," the eight-minute anthem that implodes in a diabolical release of guttural yells that felt even more cathartic than imagined when a sold-out room joined as one to unleash the frustrations that have built-up inside. Wednesday are at the top of their game and to see them deliver such an engaging and powerful show felt like seeing a band on the verge of greatness, ready to take on the world by storm.

Set list:

01 "Hot Rotten Grass Smell"
02 "Cody's Only"
03 "Handsome Man"
04 "Formula One"
05 "TV in the Gas Pump"
06 "Chosen to Deserve"
07 "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinking Doubles)" [Gary Stewart cover]
08 "Bath County"
09 "Billboard"
10 "Maura"
11 "One More Last One"
12 "Quarry"
13 "Feast of Snakes" [Karly Solo]
14 "Gary's"
15 "The Burned Down Dairy Queen"
16 "Got Shocked"
17 "Fate Is..."
18 "Turkey Vultures"
19 "Bull Believer"

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