To avoid a complete cheeseball cliche, I'm going to scrap the end-of-the-world nonsense and say it like it is: The Rapture are back and sounding exactly as I remember them -- like a flawless rock/pop/dance melange, distinguished by their reliable drums, unmistakeable vocals and one hell of a steady cowbell.
The gang, grounded by Vito Roccoforte (drums), Luke Jenner (vocals) and Gabriel Andruzzi (sax, cowbell) have always known how to make a crowd writhe. But it's their obvious chemistry -- which bound them together after a production hiatus of about five years -- that has kept fans tapping their feet in anticipation of their recent DFA release, In The Grace Of Your Love.
Before setting sail on their U.S./Euro tour, the boys banned together on Tuesday night to play a media-heavy crowd at SPIN's New York office. In six songs they were able to prove to their new-found fans just how talented and spunky they can be, while confirming to their longtime groupies that not a speck of dust has collected on their sound.
Opening with a newbie, "In The Grace of Your Love," the guys warmed up the already-sweaty room before delving into four classics: "Get Myself Into It," "W.A.Y.U.H.," "House of Jealous Lovers" and "Echoes." The band's antics showed not an ounce of age, which can sadly often cripple performers aiming to reestablish themselves years later. The Rapture, however, moved and wailed with the energy and passion of teenagers and immediately brushed aside any notion that time had gone by.
I was close enough to see Luke Jenner close his ultramarine blue eyes and grip the mic as if he were right where he should be. Gabriel Andruzzi switched off between saxophone and cowbell, and to be honest, I am not sure which was more captivating. I have seriously never seen a cowbell upstage anyone before, and on Tuesday night, I'm confident I did.
The energy continued to flow as Jenner summoned everyone within a 50-foot radius. Not only the crowd before him, to which he strutted into at one point, trailing his mic cord behind him, but also those above enjoying the open bar on the roof. Between a couple songs, Jenner prompted the crowd upstairs to scream "football" if they could hear him, as if he were making sure they were still keeping up with the musically nimble group.
The set wrapped up with the band's new single, "How Deep Is Your Love?" which reaffirms just how much I love about this group. And the fact that the line "let me hear that song" vaguely reminds me of "let me see that thong" (a la Sisqo) just deepens that reaffirmation. My love is way deep for this band and I cannot wait to see them continue to impress me and my ears.
To rival one of their more notable songs, which professes, "people don't dance no more," I'd like to argue the opposite. If in fact dancing is dead, I will challenge (and hope) that The Rapture are the ones who can resurrect it.