Two WPRB DJs had the privilege of checking out the most recent Architecture in Helsinki show last Friday night at The Fillmore – Irving Plaza in New York City. In this recap, you’ll get two points of view: one from a relatively new AIH listener and one from a serious fan who’s seen them live 5 times (3 times in the same Irving Plaza venue)! Full review after the jump.
We got to the show in time to catch the last half of the set from opening band Dom (unfortunately, getting terribly lost on the way to the venue meant we missed the first band, Lo-Fi Fnk, who I highly recommend checking out). Dom’s known for happy, poppy rock numbers, but they recently released an EP that veers more toward atmospheric/chillwavey sounds. We heard both this evening. I enjoyed hearing them stretch their musical boundaries, but the crowd was definitely more enthusiastic about the poppy numbers like set closer “Living in America.”
(side note: one of the simultaneous upsides and downsides of attending a show on a Friday night at a “clubbier” venue is the party atmosphere in the crowd – everyone’s really excited but they’re also talking a lot and so I tend to feel bad for the opening acts who are trying to play but no one is paying attention)
At 10PM on the dot, AIH came onstage to rapturous applause. This band contains members with an interesting mix of styles: you have your glammed-out frontman and frontwoman in fancy outfits with shiny accessories juxtaposed with some serious beard action. I have to admit that the vision was a little incoherent (are they all in the band? are some of them just the touring backup?), but I can go there if that’s where they want to take me. They pounded out an hour and a half of poppy, dancy numbers drawing from all over their discography, not just new tracks, which especially impressed my show-going companion who’d seen many of their shows before but had enjoyed their recent record less than their previous records. The crowd was composed mostly of yuppies in suits (or maybe that’s just where I was standing), but they seemed to be really enjoying themselves, proving that AIH can play to people in suits too! The band seemed to have a technical gripe with the venue: despite their repeated requests for more lights on the crowd (it’s really dark in there- they wanted to be able to see the audience to make it more of a participatory experience, which I totally dig), the lights would come on for a second or two and would then go back out. Ah well.
They closed with a three-song encore that ended with a raucous sing-along to “Heart It Races,” and with that, we were on our merry way. Apparently, they’ll be back early next year touring behind a new record, unless I misheard. Thanks for the uplifting, dancey workout, AIH!