British indie band London Grammar is an act I’ve been excited to see live ever since I first heard ‘Hey Now’ back in 2014. Comprised of Dan Rothman on guitar, Dominic Major on keys and drums, and vocalist Hannah Reid, their sound is often compared to the xx and Florence + the Machine; but my Grammatical touchstone is a bit more obscure: remember Mary Fahl of October Project? Reid’s vocals are ethereal and haunting and for a moment it ‘lay me down’ like it was the mid-’90s.
Now it’s my second visit to cavernous Brooklyn Steel, and it’s ideal for Reid’s howling vocals. To my great pleasure, they opened with ‘Hey Now’ which in retrospect was a great choice as it warmed up the crowd for what was to come. The show was a solid representation of their 2014 album, If You Wait, and this year’s release, Truth is a Beautiful Thing.
On the former, ‘Wasting My Young Years,’ ‘Nightcall’ and my favorite London Grammar song, ‘Stong’ were among the highlights. On the latter, early favorite ‘Big Picture,’ Bones of Ribbon,’ ‘Oh Man Oh Woman’ and ‘Hell to the Liars’ all induced rounds and rounds of goose bumps. But it was Hannah Reid’s acapella intro to ‘Rooting for You’ that brought the industrial ambiance of Brooklyn Steel to deafening silence. You can watch the entire concert online. Check out ‘Rooting for You’ at 25:30. It’s simply stunning.