The Fratellis and The Ceremonies Rock Out at Webster Hall

The Fratellis concert review

The Fratellis returned to New York’s Webster Hall last Friday, which was kicked off by The Ceremonies—a new band emerging on the horizon. To refer to their sound as simply “impressive” is hardly doing them the justice they deserve. The Fratellis mixed their beloved old material in with the new, and created a rousing atmosphere in the historic NYC haunt.

The Fratellis at Webster Hall in NYC

The Ceremonies, a trio of brothers hailing from Los Angeles, kicked off The Fratellis’ November 1st show at Webster Hall. Boasting a sound similar to legendary acts like The Cure and Joy Division, the brothers proved that modern rock still has a lot of potential for progression.

The Ceremonies strongly launched into their set and, unlike many less-than-stellar opening acts, managed to command the attention of every person in the room. The group exuded energy while pairing poetic, well-written lyrics with infectious rhythms. The Ceremonies seem to be an example of contemporary rock music at its best, providing a sense of purity with their effective harmonizing.

The group is probably best known for their debut single, “Land of Gathering,” which features synthesizers reminiscent of ‘80s post-punk bands. However, their sound seems to be wide-ranging, and a later tune even featured the incorporation of chords similar to the tones of surf rock.

The show was perhaps a sign of things to come for this group, and when their quick set concluded, an air of excitement filtered through the venue. The Ceremonies have only released a five-song EP, but already, they’re beginning to take audiences by storm. There’s very little reason to wonder why this band has been deemed an “MTV Artist to Watch,” and are often referred to as a highlight of 2013’s CMJ Music Marathon. If you have a chance to catch The Ceremonies, do yourself a favor and give them a try.

The main act of the night, however, was The Fratellis. The Glasgow threesome received critical praise for their 2006 debut album, Costello Music. The album featured the hit “Chelsea Dagger,” which grew more known with its post-goal usage by the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. The Fratellis have since released three albums, including 2013’s We Need Medicine.

The group played to a sold-out crowd Friday night, who clamored for the band’s fun, punkish songs. They engaged the audience with the animated opener “This Old Ghost Town,” and rolled into Costello Music’s “Cuntry Boys and City Girls.” Frontman Jon Fratelli promised the crowd a balance between old songs and new, noting the onlookers’ demand for the “classic Fratellis.”

The audience, many of whom had been Fratelli fans from the start, entered into a state of utter fixation as they watched and sang along with the Scotland natives. The band had successfully conquered and maintained their hold on listeners, who were first introduced to the band several years ago.

Following a 20-song set (five of which were first-time debuts) The Fratellis wandered off the stage for a brief respite, before treating the audience to an outstanding encore. Leading with “Rock ‘n Roll Will Break Your Heart,” they played on into a surprising rendition of Dion’s 1961 hit “Runaround Sue.” It was an interesting, yet fitting lead-in to “Chelsea Dagger,” a song that allegedly tells of a prostitute in the Chelsea district of London.

The Fratellis are an intriguing act, meshing aspects of classic punk rockers like The Clash and more melodious acts like The Rolling Stones. Their ability to command the stage and awe their crowds is incomparable to many indie rock acts of today. They may not be one of the most widely-known bands, but most significantly, their music propels an impeccable dynamism that continues to delight fans.

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