Show Review: The New Pornographers Rock Out at Royale

Photography by Alec Martinez

By Rodin Batcheller

Artist: The New Pornographers

Venue: Royale

When: Monday, November 4th

The crowd inside Royale stood shoulder to shoulder waiting for The New Pornographers, an eight-person band from Vancouver, to take the stage: The eagerness and anticipation were almost tangible. The chilly night outside didn't match the warmth of the music and dancing taking place in the room.

The band hit the audience with a song immediately

The New Pornographers took to the stage and immediately blew the audience away with a performance of "Dancehall Domine." There was "hello," no acknowledgment of any kind from the band. Hardly anybody seemed to notice, however, because they were busying rockin' out. The band jumped right into their second song of the evening with hardly a pause. "You'll Need A New Backseat Driver," a song off of the band's new album, In the Morse Code Of Brake Lights, took hold of the audience. They remained in the palm of the band's hand for the rest of the show.

The show just kept rollin'

After a great performance of "Use It," Carl Newman, one of the frontmen of the group, switched from his electric to his acoustic guitar. When he came back to the mic, he addressed the audience while tuning his guitar, "The acoustic guitar, it just makes that sound, you know?" The band started playing "Falling Down The Stairs Of Your Smile" after some banter with the audience, and then Newman switched back to his acoustic after the intro of the song. The show barely paused as the band played "My Rights Versus Yours" while the audience sang along and swayed together. The harmonies of the song sounded almost magical; a sound that can only be heard from seeing the band live.

There were some mid-show conversations

Carl Newman walked up to the mic and told the crowd, "This is one we just started playing again. We re-learned it." He added with a chuckle, "Which was super easy." The fans greeted the beginning of "Crash Years" with a resounding "Woo!"

About halfway through the show, Simi Sernaker paused the show to tune her violin. In the meantime, Carl told the audience a semi-lengthy story about his friend being kicked out of a concert, stating afterward, "We didn't want to talk, she was tuning." Later, he told the audience, jokingly, that the band would take requests.

They kept the people dancing until the end

The New Pornographers walked off after a performance of "Mass Romance." The crowd cheered and cheered until the band came back out and played three more songs. Right as the second song started, Carl Newman broke a string on his guitar. "I broke the exact string I need," he said. It didn't take long for the band to jump right back in and finish the concert. The entirety of the encore seemed like a giant dance party. Then, the band  left the stage for the final time with a simple, "Thanks for coming everybody."

The whole night, it seemed like no one could stop moving their bodies. The New Pornographers simply came and filled up the Royale with great sounds and good vibes.

Uncommon Newsletter

Music reviews, ticket giveaways, live performances & member specials.

  • We'll send you a curated list of the best we have to offer and keep you up to date on everything music in Boston.

We'll never sell your email, be boring or try to sell you on bad music.

CONNECT WITH WERS