Midway through Destroyer’s stunning set at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, my friend leaned over and whispered, “This dude is kind of like Dylan, isn’t he?” While the D-man comparison is often thrown around too freely for my taste, last night it felt like Dan Bejar really was living up to it. He owned the stage from the moment he stepped on, backed ably by guitarist Nicholas Bragg and drummer Fisher Rose.
In terms of the set list, Bejar struck a nice balance between new and old. Half of the songs came from his new record, “Trouble in Dreams.” The other half was drawn from his eight previous efforts. “Trouble in Dreams” seems to be a natural progression from “Destroyer’s Rubies,” with more of an emphasis on orchestral arrangements and use of the piano. As others have pointed out, it draws heavily on ’70s glam rock, although Bejar wasn’t rocking any eyeliner last night.
While the first song, “Blue Flower/Blue Flame” was certainly well received, it wasn’t until he launched in to “Rubies” that the crowd warmed up. “The State” had a more old-world vibe, while “Dark Leaves Form a Thread” was a straight up mid-’90s college radio jam. Bejar kept the audience’s attention throughout — no easy feat when dealing with a boozy crowd on a Tuesday night.
Blue Flower/Blue Flame
Leopard Of Honor
Libby’s First Sunrise
Dark Leaves Form A Thread
New Ways Of Living
My Favorite Year
Hey, Snow White
Self-Portrait with Thing (Tonight Is Not Your Night)