Under a new world order Monday night gigs would be banished. In some countries where a mere witnessing of the band followed by polite applause is enough it would make no difference but over on our island it’s often the crowd who can be 49 or even 51% of a great gig. And we don’t like Mondays. Saying that, it’s not necessarily detrimental, merely less than ideal.
Philadelphians CYHSY have another fine album under the belt in this year’s ‘Only Run’, a backstreet drive through the towns of America under Alec Ounsworth’s cracked nasal tones. And it’s from this album we’ll get the largest share of tracks tonight. ‘Blameless’ stomps in as an opener though it’s a meandering one and not quite the punch to the face they could have delivered to wake us up. Soon we’re trailing off into the mantra from ‘Satan’ off the weakest album ‘Some Loud Thunder’ and it’s only when we drop back to ‘Coming Down’, the Matt Berninger-featuring new track that we get the proper kick to the chest that CYHSY can deliver.
Not just a Monday, it’s the last night of a tour also and the band seem tired but moments of what is most wonderful about them appear, just to drop off with a weak following-track selection. Or maybe we just didn’t hear what we wanted to. There’s barely two or three tracks from the sublime Hysterical and little from the very strong debut either. No ‘Details of the War’, no ‘Same Mistake’, no ‘Hysterical’, no ‘Let the Cool Goddess Rust Away’ and sadly no ‘Adam’s Plane’. Of course you’re left in a dilemma of not wanting to be the person judging a gig where you didn’t hear what you wanted, but also disappointed in a band that don’t see the wealth in the ‘right’ places in their back catalogue. We watch the crowd get visibly into things, just of it to go off the boil again so maybe it’s not just us.
It was actually a good gig, we just wanted more and feel that there was a much better gig in these guys. We were buoyed two thirds of the way through with the slide into ‘Misspent Youth’. Lost in perhaps their best and beautifully tragic song (“But my Ophelia does not drown, she just barely hangs on”), you’d forgive them anything. But a plea for next time – come back on a Friday at the start of a tour, let me write your set list and we’ll burn the city down.
CYHSY photographed for State by Mark McGuinness