Car Seat Headrest’s return to the UK is only a short one. Manchester is just one of four dates in the UK before the band go to Europe and then on to America. No surprises then, to see how fans flocked to The Albert Hall last Wednesday to catch the Virginian indie rockers in action before they jet off around the globe once more.
Dressed all in black, Will Toledo, frontman and creator of Car Seat Headrest took to the stage. His face obscured by his hair and large framed glasses. The smoky, elevated stage was busy, filled out by six other members including Naked Giants who are currently touring with the band. With only a single beam of light hovering over Toledo, he began mumbling into the mic.
‘Cosmic Hero’ was an epic symphony of vigorous, explosive choruses and soaring, introspective lyrics. By the end of the well-chosen opener, the band had done a solid job of gearing up the audience.
Without a second to catch a breath, the drums kick-started something more energetic. A chorus of cheers made their way round the two floors of the Albert Hall as fans recognised the song. The whole floor was shaking as the crowd jumped to ‘Bodys’, reciprocating the band’s euphoria. It was seemingly impossible for the audience not to sing along: “Don’t you realise? Our bodies could fall apart at any second!”
Toledo did not hold back when it came to showcasing his moves. Since touring with Naked Giants and the expansion of the live band, he does not restrain himself with any musical instruments, except an occasional a tambourine. Like a carnival acrobat, Toledo was in his element, rollicking wildly on stage.
For heavier tracks, such as ‘Destroyed by Hippie Powers’, his screaming vocals, incessant jumping and air guitar were infectious. His heart and soul were embedded in each song.
The band treated the crowd to one of their structurally-ambitious pieces: ‘Beach Life-in-Death’. The twisting and turning 13-minute track, from the recently re-imagined Twin Fantasy album, was an otherworldly live performance.
When the band exited the stage, not a single member of the audience began to leave. Then came the rapturous pleas for one more song. The raucous, ‘Something Soon’ was the perfect remedy for this fervent desire of an encore. A triumphant conclusion to an unforgettable live experience.