THE DRUMS + JAY SOM @ THE GLASS HOUSE
Photos by Leslie Kalohi Recap by Madison Desler
“I’ll be honest with you. In eight years of playing shows, I’ve never been this nervous,” Jonny Pierce explained to the packed crowd at The Glass House last night. The lead singer and last original member of The Drums continued, “I should speak in the past tense. I’m not nervous anymore. You guys have filled me with confidence.” It was the first show of the Abysmal Thoughts tour, the first official show without co-founder Jacob Graham, and the first show Pierce played as an Anti Records artist, where he’s releasing Abysmal Thoughts this June.
Taking to the stage in a pullover sweatshirt, what appeared to be glow-in-the-dark motocross pants, and the same platinum blonde mushroom haircut he’s had since the band hit the scene in 2010, fans went berserk. He’s their sad-boy prince, their confidant, who croons in a baritone voice all their innermost thoughts about love and death, over a dancey hi-hat and one-string guitar riffs.
Pierce started with perennial favorites “What You Were” and “Best Friend,” during which he threw a bouquet of roses out over the crowd, holding onto one as he swayed through “Book Of Stories.” After they performed the new single “Blood Under My Belt,” an ignorant individual kept yelling out, “Where’s Jacob?!,” but Pierce chose not to ignore, launching into “Book of Revelation” and a gritty version of “Let’s Go Surfing,” the signature whistle and unrelenting riff given extra teeth by Pierce’s new guitarist. The band delivered a tight set, playing a version of “Money” that was so fast, it looked like the bass player’s arm was going to fall off.
Specializing in groove-tempo, 80’s, indie-pop gold, this show, like all Drums shows, turned into a massive dance party. It’s impossible not to bop and bob along to “I Need A Doctor” or “Me And The Moon,” especially when Pierce is moving around the stage with the cheesy moves of a deranged lounge singer. As he whirled around during the anthemic “Forever and Ever Amen,” we shouted every word back to him.
The Drums closed out the show with “It Will End In Tears,” “The Future,” and “Days.” “Days go by, and I never needed you,” he sang pointedly, leaving the stage to a roar of applause and immediate chants of “One more song!” He obliged, performing “How It Ended” and “Mirror,” a promising new track that drove home the theme of the night: the future of The Drums looks bright, indeed.
The show was opened by Oakland-based Jay Som, who serenaded the crowd with their dreamy bedroom-pop.