It's almost a disservice to England’s Dry The River that their beautifully crafted recorded music might give the listener the idea that the band follows exclusively in the folksy footsteps of its countrymen Mumford & Sons or US brethren Fleet Foxes, because live, the group quite definitively rocks. The quintet crammed their expansive and explosive sound into the Backroom at the Black Cat on Wednesday night, imbuing the small space with the same energy and volume that would easily fill the larger upstairs room. Previous performances in DC as an opener had made the band work to convert the audience into fans, but this night, the Black Cat was filled with established fans who knew every word, every guitar stroke and every rock star move.
The appearance of Dry The River is one of split personalities made up of long haired, tank top wearing guys who exploded into hair-swirling guitar-wielding dervishes sharing the stage with flannel wearers and a close-cut cropped hair punk drummer. But as different as they looked, their harmonies were tight and gorgeous.