It’s been a whirlwind ride for language nation in New York. Back at the height of the lost year that was 2020, the synthpop trio released their debut album, Introduction, Presence; Although it was a strange time for their debut LP, they’ve gained a loyal crew of fans and have kept their heads down. As the world began to pick up again in 2021, so did the superstar band way forwardwhich found the trio upping their infectious new wave tracks to broader heights and helped build a much larger core audience. way forward It also propelled them to appearances at several major festivals and their biggest tour to date, giving them a valuable opportunity to hone their live chops.
Now, just a few weeks after announcing their upcoming third album, strange pupil (From September 15th on [PIAS]), Language Nation is ramping up in its biggest year yet. Last night (May 4), they played the second date of the extended tour of their US tour dates (get your tickets here!). As they performed at one of the biggest venues in their hometown of New York City, Brooklyn Steel, it was clear that their return was more than welcome.
The show’s opener was fellow New Yorker Gustav, who set the tone for the evening with an incredibly convincing rendition of complex post-punk, with crowd participation, hidden vocal parts, spoken word poetry, and furious music.
When Nation of Language took to the stage, it was evident that they were excited to be back in front of their hometown audience once again. Frontman Ian Devaney and partner/collaborator Aidan Noel each used multiple opportunities to express their gratitude – and, of course, banter with each other. (It was an exhilarating moment when Noel Devaney offered some encouragement after they snagged a brand new track.) They dusted off a few tracks from their debut and made sure way forwardThe highlights are well represented; “The Gray Commute” with Devaney’s soaring notes, was an incredibly powerful number, and Introduction, Presence“September Again” kept the energy high.
But the most interesting musical moments came with each new song coming out strange pupil. The single “Sole Obsession”, with its harmonious drums and bubbling synths, became an anthem, and Devaney’s opening track “Stumbling Still” was a breathtaking song. After pulling out a few dozen shows last year, it would be easy for Nation of Language to come back with a little rust, but that certainly wasn’t the case last night. Every amazing track was done to perfection, and now we’re hungry for more.
Check out the photo gallery and full track list below, and get tickets to Nation of Language’s ongoing US tour here. Check out other tours coming this summer by scrolling through our comprehensive list of Essential Summer 2023 Tours, then vote for your favorite hometown music venue as part of Hometowns of Consequence.