Not even customs delays prevent The Antlers from another sonorous and sentimental performance. / Words and Pictures by Dave MacIntyre.
Mere minutes before The Antlers were scheduled to start their Tuesday night performance at The Phoenix Concert Theatre the stage was a blur of activity. The Brooklyn trio had only just arrived having faced delays at the Canadian border. Thanks to the efforts of an amazingly efficient crew gear was unpacked, plugged in, line checked, and ready to go in less than 15 minutes. The frantic arrival didn’t seem to phase front man Peter Silberman. Grinning, he stepped out to greet an anxious audience and quickly got things underway. Listening to the opening song "Kettering" and watching Silberman metamorphose from a jovial man of smiles and waves into a man devastated by the helplessness of cancer's insouciant grip was nothing short of amazing. His haunting vocals paired with the dreamy melancholy of Darby Cicci’s keyboards and Michael Lerner’s driving percussion coalesced into a sound machine that consumed the room with its gravity. It’s no wonder the band’s 2009 release, Hospice, has been so critically acclaimed. The Antlers held the crowd’s attention with incredible versions of “Bear” and “Two”, songs filled with emotional heartache that naturally pours from Silberman on stage. Sadly, the brief five-song set only lasted 40 minutes, and despite most fans being in attendance to see the headlining Editors, very few would have complained if they played on.