kingsofconvenience

It was perhaps the quietest gig in my show-going career. Kings of Convenience strummed and cooed to a sold-out crowd that was louder than the musicians (a Bowery first?) on stage. The evening was filled with banter, mainly from Erlend Øye cracking jokes, encouraging our participation and of course, dancing awkwardly (in a way only he can). Interaction with the crowd spiced up the serene set, from finger snapping, sing-alongs and the token Norwegian guy making his presence be known. It was indeed a jovial evening and celebration of their upcoming release Declaration of Dependence. Noting that it’s been almost 4.5 years since their return (as Eirik Glambek Bøe put it, “which is nothing geologically”), it felt like their new songs were classics, and their classics never faded away. The first half of the night was dedicated to the new album with most tracks deceptively sounding like old ones at first; with Øye acknowledging this. When they finally cracked into the back catalogue, cheers could be heard; “Misread,” “Cayman Islands” and a bare-bones rendition of “Little Kids” were nostalgically pleasing. But the real highlight was the encore, in which the boys played sans microphone, only to be greeted by the lovely Feist sitting in the balcony, (she sang on 2004′s Riot on an Empty Street). She and Øye serenaded each other from the distance to “Know How“ before dazzling us with her on-stage vocals for “Build-Up.” It became clear that in some respect, Øye and Bøe are, arguably, a modern day (Norwegian) Simon & Garfunkel. –Andrea D’Alessandro