To say that that Will Toledo is prolific is an understatement. Just before his band, Car Seat Headrest, was picked up by Matador Records in 2015, Mr. Toledo had already released eight albums of material on his own, including the original version of the newly rerecorded Twin Fantasy. Since those earlier years, Car Seat Headrest has grown from primarily a one-man creative outlet to a four piece with Will on guitar to its current stage configuration. And that new sound really packed a punch at 9:30 Club on Thursday!
For the second night of a two-night residency, Car Seat Headrest showed up to the 9:30 Club in force. Along with Will and his band of Ethan Ives (guitar/vocals), Andrew
Ives Katz (drums), and Seth Dalby (bass), Car Seat Headrest incorporated members of the fantastic Seattle band Naked Giants with Henry LaVallee on additional percussion, Gianni Aiello on keyboards, and Grant Mullen on guitar. This made for a stage packed with sound (and a bit of chaotic fury) as the band thrashed about to the strobing lights and smoke of the club.
To a darkened stage, Will and the band started with the opening of “The End of Dramamine” from How to Leave Town and moved into “Waves of Fear,” a Lou Reed cover, as the band was bathed in blue light.
This new Car Seat Headrest songs lent themselves to spectacle. With guitar duties filled by someone else, Will was able to move about the stage and pull in the audience. Highlights included the brilliant “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” from Teens of Denial and a medley the band has been playing recently on tour which includes “Sober to Death” from Twin Fantasy and the Neil Young and Crazy Horse tune “Powderfinger.”
The set list included:
Waves of Fear (Lou Reed cover)
Fill in the Blank
(Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem)
Sober to Death / Powderfinger (Neil Young & Crazy Horse cover)
America (Never Been)
Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales
Destroyed by Hippie Powers
Nervous Young Inhumans
Will Toledo and company continue their North American tour and then it’s off to Europe. Definitely catch this amazing live show! Tour dates can be found here.
Here are some pictures of Car Seat Headrest performing at the 9:30 Club on Sept. 20, 2018. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.