Leaving no room for nostalgia, Dirty Projectors rattled off new hits-in-the-making, opening with "Swing Lo Magellan" and the mesmerizing "About to Die." But the crowd really found its groove when the group whipped out "Gun Has No Trigger," the band's punchy latest single, on which the soulful vocals of backup singers Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle combined perfectly with Longstreth's distinctive crooning. The song steadily crescendoed, finally reaching the chorus: "You hold a gun to your head / But the gun has no trigger." A glistening, sweat-soaked Longstreth cut loose, the lights flashed in time, and the crowd went berserk. Another highlight was "Offspring Are Blank," which reenergized the audience midway through the show with hand claps (always a crowd-pleaser) and melodious hums, which swelled to anthemic proportions and had everyone yelling along with Longstreth.
As proud as Dirty Projectors seemed to be of their new album (both Longstreth and Coffman couldn't wipe the smiles off their faces), the band knew what the audience wanted during the encore. "Stillness Is the Move" from 2009's breakthrough album, Bitte Orca, made the gently swaying crowd go wild; Coffman missed no note while showing off her vocal depth. For a band whose unchecked creativity has sometimes resulted in limited listenability, Dirty Projectors played an utterly thrilling show to plug their most accessible album yet, which left concertgoers humming songs all the way back to the sardine-packed subway.
Dynamic duos Purity Ring and Wye Oak opened for Dirty Projectors, and TONY photographer Virginia Rollison captured the set.
Dirty Projectors on Bitte Orca and their brand-new sound