Written by Bill Whiting
Photo Credit: Billy Pavone
NYC and Philadelphia’s The Walkmen’s April 26 appearance at Cincinnati’s Bogarts nightclub had been anticipated for many winter months leading up to the late spring date. Their last Cincinnati appearance was as the opening act for the Kings of Leon at PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center, where they wowed an energized, sold out crowd with bracing originals that were, at once, haunting and hypnotic. Their Bogarts concert was in support of the openly inviting disc Lisbon, and The Walkmen surged into “Angela Surf City” with rawness and fierce emotion. The rhythm section of Walter Martin on bass and Matt Barrick on drums kept the bottom end driving to the echoing wail of front man Hamilton Leithauser’s impassioned singing. Journeying back to 2006’s A Hundred Miles Off album, Peter Bauer’s touches on keyboards meshed tightly with the chiming lead guitar chords of Paul Maroon’s dynamic playing on “Lost in Boston.” Returning to Lisbon, Leithauser held court at center stage, repeating the anthemic refrain of “Victory” as the denizens on the floor danced and sang along in swaying fashion. The Walkmen’s show came to a peak on the riveting masterwork, “All Hands and the Cook,” from A Hundred Miles Off. One of the best sets captured in the Queen City so far in 2011, The Walkmen have their followers once again marking the calendar’s days until their triumphant re-emergence somewhere down the line.