EL VY – Vicar Street – 13-12-15 – Gig Review
EL VY’s existence as a band was announced in August of this year, comprising of Matt Berninger, vocalist and lyricist of The National, and Brent Knopf of Menomena and Ramona Falls. They had released one single when their gig in Whelans was announced. It sold out in minutes! The gig was quickly upgraded to Vicar street and they repeated the trick of selling out the larger venue. It’s fair to say the audience was not there on the strength of the one single, but on Matt’s day job.
The band emerged on stage at about 9.20 in the form of a four piece, with an additional 2 members from their official line up. It was a typical enough four piece, with vocals, guitar, keyboard, bass and drums. Brent Knopf varied between keyboard and guitar, and seemed equally at home on either. Matt was sporting a look you could call hippy Geology teacher, but was in typical rock star form, disappearing into the audience at regular intervals. On previous experience, his voice can be quite raw live, but with only an eleven date tour behind him, his vocals were impressive. It was the last day of their tour, and the banter between songs consisted of a number of thank yous, including one for Damien the bus driver!
The elephant in the room was that they only had one album and as they worked through the eleven tracks, there was a concern over how long the concert would be! There was only one cover version, She Drives Me Crazy – (Fine Young Cannibals) with no mention of the National’s work (as expected). They left the stage without an encore just before twenty past ten, so just under an hour. Matt apologised saying they needed to write more songs, so hopefully there will be another album at some point. They were very impressive despite the short set, and songs such as ‘I’m the Man to Be’ and ‘Return to the Moon’ really got the crowd hopping.
Support on the night came from Penny Serf who were an enjoyable Indie Rock band. A four piece with guitars, bass, keyboards and drums. There were some nice moments and slightly muffled vocals. They’re unlikely to ever command a main stage in a venue of that size but were an interesting support.
Set List –
It’s a Game
Silent Ivy Hotel
Return to the Moon
Paul Is Alive
I’m the Man to Be
She Drives Me Crazy – (Fine Young Cannibals cover)
No Time to Crank the Sun
Need a Friend