Brooklyn’s The Subjects played a set that expanded upon their 2007 debut LP, With the Ease, Grace, Precision, and Cleverness of Human Beings. This started-in-high school band (note: that’s two students and two teachers) delivered a fuller sound with a more straightforward tempo. Playing to a hometown crowd at the new Music Hall in Williamsburg (formerly Northsix – QRO venue review), they’ve definitely been growing up in 2007.
The Subjects opened the night like they opened their album, with “Speaking Parts”. This building, reaching number had a slow tempo similar to what it brought on the record, but it was one of only a few to so throwback. Perhaps only “Hounds of War” was so matching in its delivery, which alternated between the slow-and-grand style of “Parts” and a quicker, higher pace.
The most improved Ease track was probably “Saginaw”, which saw a faster rhythm give it greater power and force. “Icicles”, already a pressing piece, had that turned up to eleven, live. Changes were felt on most numbers, taking breezy, airy tunes darker and harder, sadder tunes up higher, and rollicking tunes given more of a lilt. Newer songs helped fill out the set, putting a lot more meat on the bone for the crowd to chew on.
Despite having played a sold-out set with Peter Bjorn and John at Maxwell’s (QRO venue review) in Hoboken, NJ a week-and-a-half ago, The Subjects played in front of an audience that wasn’t wholly familiar with them. Or maybe the crowd only knew them from With the Ease, and weren’t so familiar with this version. But whatever they knew or didn’t know coming into class, the concertgoers at Music Hall came out with a new favorite Subject.
The Subjects playing “Time” live @ Music Hall in Williamsburg, New York, NY: