By John Curley
Eight years have passed since the stellar debut album by The Last Shadow Puppets, The Age Of The Understatement, was released. Their new offering, Everything You’ve Come To Expect, holds its own when compared to their debut. The band is a collaborative project featuring Alex Turner of the UK band Arctic Monkeys and the English singer-songwriter Miles Kane. The tour in support of Everything You’ve Come To Expect stopped in New York City on Tuesday, August 2nd for a show at Terminal 5. And they pulled out all of the stops to perform an exhilarating show that drew loud cheers from the packed house.
In addition to Turner (vocals, guitar, bass, baritone guitar, tambourine, and keyboards) and Kane (vocals, guitar, and saxophone), The Last Shadow Puppets are comprised of James Ford (drums, percussion, organ, piano, and keyboards) and Zach Dawes (bass, piano, guitar, percussion, harpsichord, and celeste). Touring members of the band are Tyler Packford (keyboards and backing vocals) and Loren Humphrey (drums and percussion). The band was further augmented by a four-piece string section and another guitarist. The string section added a great deal of color to the band’s sound and was vital in helping to replicate the sound from the band’s two albums.
Following a 45-minute opening set by the Australian singer-songwriter Cam Avery that was very well received by the crowd, The Last Shadow Puppets took the stage, which was darkened, with a moody, bass-heavy cover of Suicide’s “Ghost Rider.” The crowd cheered throughout and then broke into a loud roar when the band kicked into an incredibly energetic version of “The Age Of The Understatement” that began with the stage lights coming on to full effect. They followed that with an epic take on “Only The Truth” that featured terrific guitar work by Kane. And, firing on all cylinders, they slammed right into their latest single, “Aviation,” which elicited a massive roar from the crowd.
The highlight of the show was a searing version of “Bad Habits” that had Kane and Turner facing each other onstage in a guitar duel of sorts with both musicians summoning a great deal of feedback from their instruments. That performance was in stark contrast to the shimmering pop of “Miracle Aligner,” which also got a huge cheer from the crowd.
For “Sweet Dreams, TN,” Turner switched it up and took on a crooner persona as well as putting on some Elvis moves. It provided another standout moment in the show that drew big cheers from the crowd.
The main set closed with a very heavy version of “In My Room.” The string section left the stage before the instrumental part at the end of the song that featured pounding drums and guitars screaming with feedback. At the end of the song, Turner held his guitar aloft as feedback roared from his amplifier. It was sensational.
During the interval between the main set and the encore, the house spotlight was moving around the room and would stop on an individual audience member for a few seconds before moving on. This went on even as the band returned to the stage to begin the encore with “The Dream Synopsis.” The crowd could hear Turner singing, but could not see him. That was remedied when the spotlight found Turner in the first balcony. It was a really effective piece of showmanship, and the crowd cheered loudly when the spotlight illuminated Turner. Turner then walked around the balcony to sing to the fans there as the spotlight followed him.
The show closed with a fantastic cover of David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” for which the band brought opening act Cam Avery to the stage to join them. The start of the song was delayed temporarily as efforts were made to locate Avery to bring him to the stage. It was worth the wait. Kane wailed on guitar as lights hit the disco ball on the venue’s ceiling, which sent shimmering spots of light all over the room to great effect. The crowd roared throughout.
The strength of The Last Shadow Puppets is their versatility. The show at Terminal 5 featured many different genres on display: rock, pop, punk, country, and even some heavy-metal-style guitar. Their energetic performance in which they were constantly bounding around the stage kept the crowd interested throughout.
The Last Shadow Puppets were onstage for 85 minutes, playing a 15-song main set and a three-song encore.
The band will be touring throughout August. They close out their tour of the United States with three shows in California from August 4th to 6th. Then, they head to Europe for a number of festival dates. Full tour dates can be found in the Gigs section of their Web site at http://www.thelastshadowpuppets.com/.
The set list was as follows:
Ghost Rider (cover of Suicide song)
The Age Of The Understatement
Only The Truth
Used To Be My Girl
The Element Of Surprise
My Mistakes Were Made For You
Totally Wired (cover of song by The Fall)
Standing Next To Me
Sweet Dreams, TN
In My Room
The Dream Synopsis
Moonage Daydream (cover of David Bowie song with special guest Cam Avery)