Skip to content

The Drums At Amoeba, Tuesday October 14th 2014

IMG_8584 copy

The Drums

Once again, I was going to Amoeba for an in-store gig, confident I would be able to find a reasonable spot because I was there an hour in advance… well, I was wrong once again, as the Drums are definitively famous! The line was stretching around the block and was denser than usual, I will never be able to get in I thought! I opted for the mezzanine solution, as watching the show from above is not so bad after all,… seriously, Amoeba had reached beyond capacity, more than 800 people had invaded the store on Tuesday night to watch the Brooklyn band celebrate the release of their new album ‘Encyclopedia’.

I had seen the Drums once but hadn’t really realized their impressive popularity,.. Is it because their music — which has this vague sonic resemblance with the Smiths’ — attract the young LA Latino crowd which has a love story with Morrissey? This may contribute, I would not reduce the Drums to a modern substitute for the Smiths, but the slow tempo songs they played at Amoeba didn’t divert me too much from my first impression. Jonny Pierce’s morose and detached vocals were floating around 80s new Wave inspired melodies, and if there was some Morrissey spirit in the air, it was certainly in the way he was moving and singing with a rare nonchalance… Actually, Pierce was constantly undulating with the music, a bit like Boy George was doing it in these 80s videos I remember about, and hundreds of arms were around him, holding phones, taking pictures and videos… the Drums are rockstars? In LA they are!

They didn’t overplayed their new album, I just counted three new songs according to the setlist, but rather were giving to their fans a medley of their two previous albums ‘Portamento’ and ‘The Drums’, and there was no chance I could get Morrissey out of my head when they did ‘Best Friend’ of their debut self-titled LP. Of course, the fans were very sensible to this and ‘Money’ was received with a lot of sing-alongs and enthusiastic jumping, so that the mezzanine floor was moving a bit. After the newer and darker ‘I Hope Time doesn’t Change Him’, Jonny Pierce said ‘It does not feel we are in a store anymore’… yeah it was a hot and sweaty club ambiance by now.

The Drums are officially reduced to two people (Connor Hanwick left the band) and only Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham sat at the signing table after the show as a matter of fact, but on stage they were a vibrant five-piece band, with frontman Pierce doing all the dancing, making me smile when he sang, ‘When everyone wants to dance/I can’t stand up’ [during ‘I can’t pretend’]… There were still plenty of these sad lyrics full of cheeky romantic delusions [‘So help me/Because I feel you drifting/You’re drifting away now/And I’m scared/And I hope time doesn’t change him’], so that I totally understand the attraction for all these young people who had lined up hours before the show… The Drums always manage to sound mopey and desperate despite the dancing, the shimmering guitars and funny electronic sounds, despite the music being at its sunniest during ‘Kiss me Again’, which sounded like a cross between a Morrissey’s and a Best Coast’s song and may well be an answer to ‘Kiss me A Lot’.

‘We were feeling very angry, confused, and alone when we made this album,’ said Pierce in an interview, ‘and we wanted to be very honest this time around, even if being honest meant making some people uncomfortable. We’ve left the beach for higher ground, always searching for hope.’ I have read a few of their interviews and it is often question of ‘finding a safe place’, ‘being yourself and protecting yourself’… ‘When we croak, our records will still be here,’ he also said. ‘We want to have left great, conceptual, beautiful, glimmering records in the world. We’re thinking super long term, like dead-term.’ I don’t think they had these deep thoughts in mind when they were playing in Amoeba, they certainly seemed to have a good time. ‘This is a love song’ Pierce announced before playing their last song ‘How it Ended’… but is it a love song or a ghost song? In life, it always ends like this anyway, but at least the songs will still be there.

I Can’t pretend
Book of Stories
Best Friend
I Hope Time doesn’t Change Him
Book of Revelation
Kiss me Again
How it Ended

Many pictures of the show here.

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

The Daisy Jopling Band To Perform “Who’s Who” At The Transfiguration Church In Tarrytown, NY Sunday May 12th, 2024 7 PM ET

By admin | May 9, 2024 |

The Transfiguration Church in Tarrytown, New York Presents “Who’s Who”, original violin arrangements of iconic songs by The Who performed by the Daisy Jopling Band featuring the Sleepy Hollow High School Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, May 12th, 2024. Location: Transfiguration Church 268 South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 United States Tickets are $25 and can be…

Cyborg Drummer/DJ DRMAGDN Headlining Montauk Music Fest

By admin | April 9, 2024 |

Major Label BMG Records Artist & Producer DRMAGDN Cyborg Drummer / DJ will be making his Montauk Music Fest debut this year in May. DRMAGDN will be the Official Host & MC of The Montauk Music Fest plus play headlining sets on Friday 5/17 and Saturday 5/18 from 10pm-12am at Gurney’s Montauk Resort (290 Old…

RED CARPET EVENT @ Chelsea Table & Stage 4/12/24 Featuring THE AMERICAN RELICS & DRMAGDN

By admin | March 25, 2024 |

On Friday April 12th, 2024 beginning at 6:30 pm ET  there will be a Red Carpet event pre-show sponsored by Tribeca Records at the trendy nightspot Chelsea Table and Stage located in the heart of Chelsea at 152 west 26th street (inside the Hilton Fashion Hotel) in NYC. The Red Carpet will be followed by…

Live Review: Composer Randy Edelman Live at Chelsea T&S “2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” 03/16/24 and Record Release in NYC

By admin | March 17, 2024 |

There was an infinite vitality of velvet green flowing deliciously through the air as Composer Randy Edelman presented his 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre at the trendy new nightspot Chelsea Table & Stage in the heart of NYC on March 16, 2024….. a vivacious close to the spirited Irish Parade. His music is the…

DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer/DJ Debuts @ Chelsea T&S With Retro 80’s Party & Red Carpet Event 4/12/24

By admin | February 29, 2024 |

BMG recording artist, producer and World renowned, Global Touring Electrifying Powerhouse, DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer and DJ will make his debut at the popular, trendy night spot Chelsea Table & Stage (located at 152 west 26th street inside the Hilton Hotel) on  Friday April 12, 2024 @ 9:00PM. DRMAGDN will be celebrating his high energy brand of Electronic Dance Music (EDM)…

Going Steady: New Singles 2-23-24- 2-29-24 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

dance pop, gooey confection

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 2-16-24 – 2-22-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

75K EAUs is abysmal

Our Friend Tony Orlando’s Farewell Tour

By admin | February 25, 2024 |

“I still hit the ball, I just can’t run the bases!!!”

Sneak Peaks: New Album releases 3-1-24 – 3-7-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

contenders for the best punk rock around

Child Bite, Lamb Of God, Pantera At Madison Square Garden, Thursday, February 22nd, 2024, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

A three hours of hard rock, metal not metal, swift, loud, egoless pure metal

Scroll To Top