Waters & Radical Dads | Webster Hall | New York City
The show began with opening act The Radical Dads, a trio that rocked Webster Hall with a big sound despite their lack of a bassist. With two guitarists and drummer, Robbie Guertin, who also played the keyboards in headlining act, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the Radical Dads achieved a sophisticated sound that drew on garage band rock and roll without being overwhelming or muddled. Their short set revved up the crowd, making way for the principal openers, Waters, to take the stage to a warm reception.
Waters, comprised of two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer, opened with an acoustic song that grabbed the attention of the raucous crowd, immediately quieting the hall as everyone listened contently. Trading in the acoustic for a beat up old electric guitar, lead singer, Van Pierszalowski, went on to fire up the crowd with spirited vocals and a personality to match. The set list included fan favorites, Back to You and San Francisco, the latter of which, Van explained, was inspired by his hometown. The between song banter charmed the audience just as easily as their catchy beats and alternative style did. Continuing with hits from their debut album, Out With the Light, Waters carried on impressing the crowd in the fully packed Webster Hall, infusing an edge of true rock n' roll recklessness into their stage presence with jumping and gyrations that kept all entertained.
For their last song, all four band members jumped into the crowd, playing acoustic from within a circle of excited bystanders. Urging the crowd to sing along during the chorus, everyone from the floor to the balcony shouted "forever" along with the band through the duration of the song, a truly unifying moment. However, the lyrics of the verses were somewhat obscured by chatter, so the impromptu in-crowd performance might have been better received had a sound hook up been properly organized beforehand. Despite the reception to their rocky finale, Waters was cheered as they left the stage, leaving the crowd wanting more and thoroughly warmed up for headliners, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.