Photos by Matthew Solarski
If there was any wonder how Oh Wonder became one of the most buzzed about indie bands going in such a short span of time, their debut NYC performance at Rough Trade — the first of two that night, both sold out months in advance — made it pretty clear. Few acts come across so instantly likable, eager to please but never cloying, highly polished but still projecting an amateurish charm. The London duo, internet-famous for releasing a song a month for a year, excels at consistency: they don’t really have a lone standout track, and an informal poll of four nearby audience members revealed four different favorites (“Technicolour Beat”, “Drive”, “All We Do”, and “Livewire”). Taken together it makes for a very satisfying package, and one assumes the crowds will only get bigger and more enthusiastic at the next two NYC dates the band hinted they have planned for January.
Local folkie Howard opened things up with a hushed solo set of delicate strums and subtle electronic flourishes. It was music that needed a quiet, attentive room, and fortunately on this night that’s just what it got.