The Drums

Body English at the Hard Rock Hotel, May 13

One of the most satisfying feelings in music is when a band lives up to its buzz. These Brooklyn-based indie darlings, who have received critical acclaim since their 2009 debut album Summertime, managed to surpass their hype with the best indie rock concert I’ve seen this year.

Songs such as “Down by the Water” and breakthrough hit “Let’s Go Surfing” popped big with a fuller sound than they have on vinyl. The band’s noted influences (The Smiths and Joy Division) were clear, while an Is This It?-era Strokes vibe pulsated through the hook-heavy songs. Look no further than catchy track “Money” for this new wave/garage hybrid at its finest.

On top of all that, lead singer Jonny Pierce is one of the most distinctive dancers I’ve ever seen front a band, contorting his body in odd ways that somehow make sense. Spectators of all ages were happy to show their appreciation, constantly crowd-surfing and stage-diving. The energy was off the charts with the performers and the audience upping the stakes for each other.

Body English is on to something unique here: one of the coolest venues in the city with an underserved demographic leading the audience charge. This could be the all-ages club Las Vegas desperately needs. And with bands such as the Drums tearing it up, there is no doubt the stage-diving will continue, no matter what age the divers are. ★★★★☆