There are some bands out there that have a pretty good following. They get excellent press and they have a solid amount of fans. Yet, they still manage to "fly under the radar." The UK's Doves totally fit this bill.
But their Thursday night concert at New York City's Terminal 5 — their first in the city in approximately four years — would have suggested otherwise. The venue was packed with adoring fans (even the bizarre, obnoxiously rowdy types behind me seemed to know all the lyrics to each song), excited to catch the band in the area. As even bassist/singer Jimi Goodwin pointed out, it had been far "too long."
The band, noted for being consistently solid live, did a great job despite some sound issues that popped up here and there. The sound problems seem to be a Terminal 5 thing for the most part — I've read and heard numerous complaints about the venue since I first went there to see The National perform, and I suppose there is some truth to what people have said. Goodwin wound up spending the first few songs motioning at the sound and monitor guys to adjust the mix.
But with or without sound issues, the band powered through a set featuring numerous songs from their current album Kingdom of Rust, alongside a good mix of songs from their first three albums, thrilling the crowd immensely when they performed songs like "Snowden," "The Cedar Room," and "Caught By the River" to name a few. "Black and White Town" from 2005's Some Cities was one of the big hits during the night, prompting a good chunk of the crowd to dance along with fists pumping.
Doves' newer material also translated well to the stage, with audience members transfixed during Kingdom of Rust's title track and "10:03," which proved to be one of the more beautiful performances of the night. The band succeeded in recreating the moody, moving quality of their studio recordings onstage, transporting many of us in the audience into what felt like another realm. While it's a real shame that Doves aren't bigger than they are, their live shows indicate that they are truly passionate about their art, which is the best gift a band can give their fans.
Watch footage of Doves performing "Kingdom of Rust" and "Here It Comes" (from 2000's Lost Souls, with drummer Andy Williams taking over lead vocals) at Terminal 5 below. You may have trouble viewing embedded videos if you're using Safari, so Firefox is probably the best bet. The full setlist follows at the end of this post.
Setlist: Jetstream, Snowden, Winter Hill, Rise, Pounding, Almost Forgot Myself, 10:03, Words, The Greatest Denier, Kingdom of Rust, Ambition, Black & White Town, The Outsiders, Caught By the River
Encore: The Cedar Room,Here it Comes, Last Broadcast, There Goes the Fear