Live Review: Car Seat Headrest at The Roundhouse, May 23rd
Car Seat Headrestburn bright throughout their Roundhouse show but fizzle at the end with a whopping 5 song encore.
There’s nothing quite like seeing a crowd of grown adults go absolutely nuts for a band, and that was the reaction Car Seat Headrest triggered at the Roundhouse in London last night.
Car Seat Headrest crashed onto the stage with their unique brand of American alt-indie rock, performing as a six-piece with accompaniment from their support band Naked Giants adding to the chaos.
Naked Giants, a Seattle-born rock band, opened with a pithy and high energy set. A combination of heavy guitar, manic dancing of the guitar players and extended drum solos made them a sweaty warm-up. It felt as if three self-aware teens had been plucked out of an American school talent show, stoked to be on tour with their favourite band. The lead singer finished with a shout out to ‘women in the music industry’, acknowledging their privileged position as ‘white men’ on stage. They were obviously thrilled to be there, and the crowd loved it.
Car Seat Headrest began their show in style, with a cover of Lou Reed’s “Waves of Fear”. They continued, reeling off favourites such as “Bodys”, “Drugs With Friends” and “Destroyed by Hippie Powers”, seamlessly going from hit to hit with the extra three members of their entourage. The collaboration between Naked Giants and Car Seat Headrest was at its best with a cover of Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed and Painless”, swapping instruments and places on the stage.
“Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” later on in the set was as tightly produced as it is on record, and yet another crowd pleaser. At one point it felt like the whole crowd was singing along. The Reading festival-esque mosh pit got larger and larger and the unbridled joy of die-hard fans lifted the show.
This year’s re-release of “Twin Fantasy”, an album lead singer Will Toledo originally wrote when he was 19, was met with a good reception. However, there are a couple of tracks on it that push the 15-minute mark, slightly overstaying their welcome. This mirrored their set. They burned bright and fizzled a little at the end, closing with a marginally too-long encore, lasting five songs.
In the slightly misquoted words of “Destroyed by Hippie Powers”: “It was more than what I bargained for, and more than what I paid for,” but in a good way.