Happy birthday, Tim. At the storied Gothic Theatre, the acclaimed indie rockers were anything BUT gothic. View Real Estate tour dates HERE.
BY TIM HINELY
I got there too late to catch opening act, harpist Mary Lattimore, but got there in time to get good seats for New Jersey’s own Real Estate, up in the balcony. I don’t usually sit for gigs but some pals wanted to so what the hey (plus it was my birthday so we celebrated in style).
I’d seen Real Estate a few other times live, in fact the previous time being at the Gothic, and while they’re not the most exciting live band they more than make up for it with songs and nuance. They’ve been compared to another New Jersey act, The Feelies, and that comparison is fair, though not always completely accurate. They’re touring for their 5th album, In Mind (Domino Records) which seems to be as critically acclaimed as the previoius ones were. To put it simply, critics love this band.
Though leader Martin Courtney writes all of the songs, one of his main cohorts, Matt Mondanile, has left the band to focus more on his own project, Ducktails, but was replaced by a more than able new guitarist (Julian Lynch) and the band didn’t seem to miss a step. Let’s not forget the keyboardist, Matt Kallman, who looked like a reject from the Seton Hall men’s basketball team. Oh also he had no shoes or socks on but the rest of the bad were fully clothed. Bassist Alex Bleeker chatted up the crowd, as always, while long-haired drumemr Jackson Pollis, did his thing, and very well I might add.
They opened with “Saturday” off their latest record, and also off said new record we heard chiming gems like “Darling,” “Stained Glass,” “Serve the Song” and “White Light.” The band, however, didn’t forget their back catalog, either, as we were treated to older cuts like “Youger than Yesterday” and “Suburban Dogs” (unfortunately no “Talking Backwards”).
But honest to goodness, Real Estate rocked on this evening. Not sure if it was due to guitarist Lynch who took Mondanile’s place, but the band really bit down and chewed for pretty much the whole set.
After an hour they’d called it a night, but came back out for a few encores. “Had to Hear,” “Two Arrows” and “Crime” (two of them off of 2014’s Atlas) and then called it a night as the close-to-sold-out crowd left with smiles and that look of contentment after a satisfying gig.