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- Posted on May 27th 2011 1:27PM by Jonathan Dekel
Annabel Staff, Redferns
"I wish we could play 'The Rat' eight times," the Walkmen lead singer Hamilton Leithauser joked shortly after his band played to an ecstatic Spanish audience at the Primavera Sound Festival on Thursday.
Arriving onstage at 11.15 pm, a rare nighttime festival show, the Walkmen took full advantage of the sizeable, enthusiastic crowd gathered to watch their performance on the Pitchfork Stage, eschewing most of their quieter numbers in favour of up-tempo crowd-pleasers like the driving 'Angela Surf City' from their latest album, 'Lisbon.'
"We always play [festivals] at noon for 15 minutes," Leithauser told Spinner earlier in the day. "Now we have an hour to play and it's nighttime so at least there's that."
"We've only got a couple festivals where we are playing at night," bassist Peter Bauer added "[Nighttime festival sets] are the only ones where it feels we can possibly relate to people."
Despite turning down the volume during recent sets, the band seemed to rise to the occasion (both sonically and emotionally) with energetic renditions of some of their more recognizable numbers including the penultimate set closer and the band's most successful single to date, 'The Rat,' which sent the crowd into a riotous tizzy of jumping and hand pumping.
As Leithauser would go on to say, the song's triumphant musical conceit was the climax of one of the fastest-paced sets the band has played in a while and, rather surprisingly, it suited the usually down-tempo, contemplative group.
Though they've always been victims of their own musical duality, judging by the positive reaction to the set from both audience and band members, it won't be surprising to see more barn-burners appearing on 'Lisbon''s follow-up, which the band is set to record this summer.