SXSW SPOTLIGHT: The Drums Prove Impossible to Hate at the Levi’s Fader Fort

Photos by Aaron Richter

The Artist & Their Latest Release: The Drums, Summertime! EP (Moshi Moshi)

The Showcase: Levi’s Fader Fort, 3.19.10

The Set in a Few Sentences: Everything we’ve heard about this Brooklyn foursome beforehand convinced us that we would dismiss its live show with finger-pointing and guffaws: the questionable past, the posed aesthetic, the adorable haircuts, the controversy over whether any instruments aside from the drums are actually being played. Haters to the left of us, and haters to the right of us, we couldn’t resist Jonathan Pierce’s Bowie-meets–Vegas-lounge-singer persona, slithering and prancing across the stage like he was communicating to us all that music is drama. True, everything looks deliberate and meticulous, and had the Drums been standing perfectly still, you would swear they were Urban Outfitters mannequins, but the songs are short retro-pop nuggets, and whether the magic that happens onstage is, well, staged, it makes no difference to us in the end. At the culmination of a 30-minute set, we wanted to go surfing, too.

And a Letter Grade: B+

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