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Parquet Courts Concert Review

Parquet Courts
June 1st, 2018
The Granada - Lawrence, KS

Andrew Savage of Parquet Courts
A crowd of rock fans, varied in age and dotted with peculiar characters, gave New York slacker rock philosophers Parquet Courts plenty of room to exercise their incisive wit at a June 1 visit to The Granada. After what was arguably their most dull effort in 2016's "Human Performance," the band bounced back on "Wide Awake!" -- a sleek new album crafted with the help of acclaimed pop producer Danger Mouse. The band's bright, playful use of percussion on several new songs, including the album's title track, gave the show a shot of adrenaline and an added depth that was not present during a sloppier gig nearly three years previous at The Bottleneck.

Despite being the group's most ambitious material yet, many songs from "Wide Awake!" feature the same kind of wordy lyricism and scrappy energy that fans first loved them for. "Almost Had To Start A Fight / In And Out Of Patience" is one of these songs and sounded even more urgent in the live setting. The same punk-adjacent power was felt later on in the set during throwbacks like "Master Of My Craft" and closing number "Light Up Gold II."

As they demonstrated on this night, one of Parquet Courts' greatest strengths is timing; within both their music and their banter. It was clear that the set was winding down when the band eased into "One Man No City," a six-minute endeavor complete with a Velvet Underground-style anti-solo. Quickly after its completion, the song was followed by the defiant gallop of "Content Nausea," quickly snapping fans from the trance they had just induced.

Members of the band also spent nearly 15 minutes of their 90-minute set conversing with the crowd. While they came in contact with several unusual and inebriated individuals, the most notable series of exchanges were with one enthusiastic fan whose name they misheard, but then continued to refer to as "Integrity," often shouting his nickname and searching for him after songs.

Goat Girl never quite hit a stride during their opening set, but the London band's quiet psychedelia and occasional use of honky-tonk grooves were undeniably charming and intriguing.

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