Hamilton Leithauser returned to Washington, DC on Friday night for an intimate hometown show at U Street Music Hall. With The Walkmen, his band of over a decade, on indefinite hiatus, Leithauser has stepped forward to prove himself more than capable as a solo artist. These skills were fully on display in an energetic set performed to a roomful of fans who braved the threat of bad weather to see him.
Leithauser’s sound as a solo artist is an anachronism – the energy and urgency of The Walkmen is still there, but along with it he has cultivated the laid-back image of the crooners of old. The songs are modern, but it’s not hard to imagine him singing the same songs a smoky jazz lounge, microphone in one hand and cocktail in the other (a look which he even adopted during an encore cover of Tom Paxton’s “Annie’s Going To Sing Her Song”).