Cheerleader, Life in Film and The Wombats brought the house down at Webster Hall Monday night. New York City was the fifth stop on The Wombats headlining tour for their third studio album, “Glitterbug”, which was released earlier this month.
Philadelphia indie rockers, Cheerleader, kicked off the night and set the bar high. The band, composed of Joe Haller, Chris Duran, Paul Impellizeri, Josh Pannepacker, and Carl Bahner took the stage ready to get the energy pumping and the floor shaking. They played songs from their debut EP “On Your Side” as well as their hit single, “Sunshine of Your Youth”. Despite the bands short 30-minute set time, they brought a great stage presence and it was clear to see that those in the crowd who had never heard of Cheerleader before that night, had become new fans after their set.
Second to hit the stage, was London based indie pop band, Life in Film. The band played a high energy, dance filled setlist including songs “Alleyways” and “Get Closer” from their upcoming debut album “Here It Comes”. Frontman Samuel Fry introduced the band after their opening song and told the crowd “This is our first time in New York… We’re enjoying it so far!” The crowd hollered loudly in welcome to the Manhattan newcomers. Life in Film filled their 45-minute set with a perfect balance of upbeat pop dance anthems and rock n’roll vibes.
Anxiously awaiting the appearance of the Wombats, fog began to pour out over the stage and the lights went dark. This was the moment that everyone had been waiting for as the Liverpool natives finally took the stage. The band opened their setlist with their 2013 single “Your Body Is A Weapon”. With lead singer and guitarist, Matthew Murphy coming to the edge of the stage and dipping his guitar into the crowd during the chorus of “Greek Tragedy”, The Wombats took stage presence to the next level. The band’s 17 song setlist perfectly integrated both new and old songs, including “Jump Into the Fog” from their second album “The Wombats Proudly Present: This Modern Glitch” and “Moving To New York” from their debut album “A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation”.
The Wombats kept the party going all night long. With the show this band puts on, it’s impossible not to sing along with the biggest smile on your face. Before the final song of the night, lead singer, Murph, took to the middle of the stage, raising his hands high above his head. He took to his keyboard and announced the last song of the night “Tokyo.” The entire Grand Ballroom of Webster Hall was on their feet. Strangers were dancing with strangers and you could feel the floor shaking. The band thanked the crowd one last time before retreating backstage.
Shortly thereafter the encore chants began and the band took to the stage one last time to close out the show with their newest song “Emoticons” and their oldest hit “Let’s Dance To Joy Division”. As if the party couldn’t get better, two fans jumped the barrier and joined The Wombats on stage during the final chorus of “Let’s Dance To Joy Division”. It was a moment to be remembered by all. With sweat dripping from their faces and passion pouring from their souls, The Wombats closed out their set from one of the best shows that I’ve seen in a long time. This British indie-rockers are quickly gaining popularity but still remain the most down-to-earth guys you might possibly ever meet. If you’ve never listened to them, I highly recommend that you do. Don’t be ashamed if you find yourself having a solo dance party, it’s just what their music makes you do. If you’ve got the chance, make sure to check out The Wombats on the remainder of their US headlining tour, or catch them the next time they’re in town!