Last Friday, The Districts made their way to the District to play for a sold-out crowd at the Rock and Roll Hotel. The young four-piece from Lititz, PA were touring for their latest album, A Flourish and Spell, released in February on Fat Possum Records. On album, many of their songs are a lo-fi, mid-tempo affair that find their place somewhere between the indie rock edge of The Strokes and the brooding Americana of Wilco. On stage, they become more urgent, with vocalist guitarist Rob Grote jumping around the stage energetically, channeling a youthful emo angst which is only hinted at in the recorded versions of the songs.
It was clear to see why the crowd was so enthusiastic, and why the group has been getting a great deal of notice. They put on a forceful performance, only finally letting up on the energy by leaving the stage in a flurry of feedback. But in a way, this was also the weakness of the show – in doing so, much of the dynamic of the recorded versions was lost, resulting in a sameness from one song to the next which belied the sonic breadth that the ensemble is clearly capable of delivering. Still, the sheer vitality of the performance was exhilarating. The Districts are still a young band, so let them bask in that youthful energy for now. If what they’ve accomplished in such a short time is any indication, they’ll have plenty of opportunity to develop their balance in the future.
Local indie rock band Shark Week and New Jersey psych-folk quartet Pine Barons opened the show.
All photos by Matt Condon. Click to embiggen.