The Communion Music event in New York was held at Rockwood Music Hall, a venue structured so that there are multiple stages split across its 3 or 4 rooms (with each room indicated by a # from 0-3). Stage 3 was set up as a small boutique space for a few local retailers selling such wares like cosmetics or apparel. People mingled here in between band’s sets on the neighboring and attached Stage 2, though some were queued outside in the chilly air. It was about 9:30 pm and Brooklyn’s Savoir Adore were going to come on around 10 or so but for a short time, I was concerned I wouldn’t get to see the band as people didn’t seem to exit Stage 2 and no one was allowed into the room. Fortunately, I was able to squeeze my way in and found a spot near a corner to catch SA’s set and a bit of the band Tennis, whose Small Sound EP was released that same day on the Communion label. I hadn’t had the opportunity to see this group yet, but I played their 2012 album Young & Old quite frequently and was curious to see how their drifting / shoe-gaze translated to a live performance.
But it was Savoir Adore who I had primarily come to see, especially given that the set from Tennis was gonna be late (and even more musicians were scheduled after them - you can get the most bang for your buck at these Communion shows it seems). I last saw this band a year ago when they first released Our Nature, and I had an interview with them, but since then Nettwerk picked up the band and rereleased the album with two bonus tracks. Much of this album is built around songs that possess a fun, danceable groove with an ‘80s sensibility. Their live performance showcased their sonorous voices, that join together or intertwining in call and response like on “Sea of Gold”. The group seemed more cohesive from the last time I saw them, though it could have been the smaller stage, as neither Paul Hammer nor Deidre Muro were the primary focus of the show. The rest of the band stood alongside them. They ended with “Dreamers”, a song still in regular rotation on my playlist over a year later. Muro’s voice punctuates the reverie with her promise, “I will wake you in the morning” but what if this isn’t a dream you want to end? At least they’ll be back around in December.
Next up was Tennis, whose core members are a husband and wife, Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore. The group opened with “Petition”, one of the strongest tracks from their previous chilled-out pop full length (a clip of it is below) that was produced by Black Keys’ Patrick Carney. Their new EP is produced by Richard Swift, who has worked with Foxygen and The Shins, and, in the brief segment of the show I caught, they performed “Timothy” off of it. The new material fit in well with the old, but it was the Young and Old I wanted to hear most. I was able to stay till about midnight, leaving after “It All Feels the Same”, while wishing I had heard “Origins” (indicated as the final song on the setlist) too. Perhaps another time.
All in all, I was fortunate to see two great shows at this particular Communion Music event. But there was tons more music I hadn’t seen - so if you find one of these shows coming your way, check them out as its a great way to be introduced to new music or bands and build some community.
Communion Music event page + Nov Tour Dates:
Nov 12 - Bloomington, IN
Nov 13 - Louisville, KY
Nov 14 - Nashville, TN
Nov 19 - Minneapolis, MN
Nov 20 - Madison, WI
Nov 21 - Rock Island, IL
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.