The Antlers’ music is ethereal, soulful, righteous and rooted in a special kind of belief system based on helplessness (“I Would Have Saved Her If I Could”), eternal questions (“On an endless ladder, climbing higher”), pain and suffering, determination and love.
What better place to see these Brooklyn pop martyrs than in a church?
The show Sunday night (7 p.m. September 23) is at Center Church on the Green, the middle one of the famed three churches on New Haven Green.
Rock shows have happened here before (Tallest Man on Earth and Strand of Oaks played there at the end of July) and they haven't happened there before (an eagerly awaited Eels show booked a few years ago was abruptly cancelled when the act’s manager decided the church didn’t meet his specifications). This one truly deserves to happen.
After all, this is the band that sings:
You and I, divine but not devout
Every night my teeth are falling out
The Antlers are a contemplative, philosophical and spiritual bunch of musicians. If they rise to the inspiration of their historic surroundings, tapping the majesty of New Haven Green, this will be a most memorable show indeed.
The band lives less than 100 miles away in Brooklyn, but the New Haven show isn’t one of those one-one jags down the road. It comes in the midst of an international tour that saw The Antlers play in Poland Belgium, England and British Columbia in quick succession. Following New Haven on the 23rd, the band plays Toronto on Tuesday, in Rochester NY Wednesday and Cleveland Ohio on Thursday, ending with a couple of shows next weekend in Pennsylvania.
The new album, released in July, is called Undersea. You could call it a concept album, since the water imagery is fairly constant. But the songs can stand alone, and a line like “We swim in an ocean/ It swims between us” doesn’t need an overlying theme to make it stand out.
Welcome to The Antlers. We shall glorify you at Center Church on the Green. Just try to avoid doing a “Drift Dive” in the baptismal font.
The Antlers play 7 p.m. Sunday, September 23 at Center Church on the Green, 250 Temple Street, New Haven. The opening band is Port St. Willow. Presented by Manic Productions, http://www.manicproductions.org/