My Jerusalem kicked off a short set with a bluesy guitar rock number “Young Leather” from their new album, A Little Death, on Monday at the 9:30 Club.
It is a fine showcase for the rumbling guitar sound of band leader Jeff Klein, who surely plays in a post-punk style but with overtones of Americana and blues. I personally swear I hear some Roy Orbison, an inspiration for My Jerusalem, and occasionally some Bruce Springsteen in the man’s voice.
Jeff brought his four-man band from Austin to the 9:30 Club as openers for The Sounds, who were touring their seminal album, Dying to Say This to You. (Read our Parklife DC review of The Sounds.)
My Jerusalem played seven songs, drawing almost entirely from their new album released via Razor & Tie in June. The band made a sole exception for “Born in the Belly” from the 2012 album Preachers, which Jeff released prior to recruiting his current bandmates. The entire band spring into action for this second song in the set, but you will notice drummer Grant Van Amburgh right away.
This human dynamo throws himself into his drumkit with wild abandon, and you cannot help but smile when you watch him. He’s enjoying himself quite a lot! Bassist Kyle Robarge is a more modest performer than Grant, but he definitely keeps up with the drummer, rounding out the rhythm with smooth cool.
At the midpoint of the set, the slow strummer “No One Gonna Give You Love” provides guitarist Jon Merz the opportunity to switch to keyboards, which he does with ease. The song is full of quieter moments, which serve as a pleasant contrast to Jon’s ability to throw down with some impressive guitar thumps on earlier numbers like “It’s Torture!”
Watch My Jerusalem perform “No One Gonna Give You Love” for KUTX Austin on July 28, 2016:
As they approach the end of the set, the band have put on a rather enjoyable show, ensnaring the attention of the gathering crowd as people arrive during the opening acts. But Jeff and company take it to a whole new level with their closer “Dominoes,” an ode to being unstoppable like a row of falling dominoes. As good as his band have been, Jeff reminds us that this his show by leaping into the audience and singing passionately to the crowd, who draw around him in a deep circle.
In this last song, Jeff also hunkers down on his guitar, playing with an uplifting intensity that leaves everyone clearly impressed, cheering him on to the end of the show. It was quite a sight.
Here’s the full setlist for the show:
Born in the Belly
No One Gonna Give You Love
Done and Dusted
It’s well worth your time to get out and see My Jerusalem open for The Sounds if you catch them on this tour. They are back out with The Sounds in Atlanta on Saturday and stay with them through Dec. 20 in Seattle.
Here are some pictures of My Jerusalem performing at the 9:30 Club on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.