Tapes 'n Tapes slay songs both new and old at the 7th St. Entry

Categories: Concert Review
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Tapes 'n Tapes had one last party to throw before heading into the Terrarium on Monday to begin working on their third LP. In a sociable but sold-out Seventh St. Entry, Tapes tore through a 17-song set in 70 minutes, featuring five new songs and a solid blend of their first two records. It was a spirited sendoff for the band, who seemed quite relaxed to be among friends in the Entry, even if the songs themselves have grown tighter and more potent as time has gone on. The new songs are wide ranging in both influence and mood, and got a great response from the receptive crowd, who were clearly excited at the early opportunity to hear what the new record will sound like.

Tapes have managed to successfully shrug off any of the nominal burdens of being a "buzz band" long ago, while recently returning to play the smaller clubs in the city in order to connect with an audience who has been supportive of the band from the start. These intimate club shows serve their feisty songs well, with a palpable energy being easily transferred between the band and the crowd. The band strolled on stage with plenty of libations to last them the night, and eased into their set with a fine version of "Cowbell." Cord and microphone problems plagued an otherwise intense version of "The Illiad," causing the cord to be jokingly kicked out of the band, and allowing Erik Appelwick to announce, "while we're all standing around, I found an earring on stage." It was almost as if the band had invited us in watch them rehearse -- things were that loose on stage.

The first new song of the evening was the slow-building, '50s-tinged "SWM," which simmered at the start before erupting in a fiery finish. "Demon Apple" really set the crowd and the performance off, and from that point on the set was incendiary. Songs like "Hang Them All," "Ten Gallon Ascots," "In Houston," and "Insistor" are so massive that they are just too big for the Entry, filling the tiny club with their dynamic pulse and power. The other new songs of the night (with all titles being tentative) were "Badaboom," an energetic love song with a great breakdown at the end, "One In The World," which features a bouncy, Latin-flavored rhythm and Matt Kretzman on guitar and trumpet, "Mighty Long," and "Hidee Ho," which are both straight ahead rock songs that fit seamlessly into Tapes' set and sound. 

The band truly seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage (this was their first show in nearly 6 months), leisurely catching up on what each other had to eat that day between songs, but ultimately they were there to rock, and wasted little time charging between one song and the next. "Headshock" and "The Dirty Dirty" were especially volatile, with Josh Grier repeatedly losing himself in the music and the steady rhythm of drummer Jeremy Hanson. The high-powered closing combination of "Just Drums" and "Jakov's Suite" closed the rousing, encore-less show down phenomenally.

Whatever has and will be written about Tapes 'n Tapes (including this piece) is all just so much language; what the band continues to be concerned with is their music, it's what caught everyone's attention in the first place. This show at the Entry was another shining example that Tapes have songs that are built to last and can blow away any audience, no matter the venue. Hopefully the recording of their new record goes smoothly and it won't be too long until we hear more of their bold new sound.

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