choirofyoungbelievers

Choir of Young Believers captivated the crowd with an incredible performance at Pianos on Thursday night. The band, from Copenhagen, Denmark, was in top form as they breezed through a 10-song set of gorgeous, epic indie-rock tunes that blended folk and orchestral leanings.

Most of the songs were from the band’s 2009 debut album, This Is For The White In Your Eyes. Opening with “Hollow Talk,” the set included “Action/Reaction,” “Next Summer” and “Wintertime Love.” The band also played two new songs (as yet untitled), both with cellist Cæcilie Trier on keyboards and the latter featuring Middle Eastern-influenced guitar parts. The soothing tenor vocals of lead singer and guitarist Jannis Noya Makrigiannis and the frequent backing harmonies add to the ethereal feel of the songs, which are often melancholic and sometimes dramatic with grand arrangements.

For Thursday’s show, Choir of Young Believers performed as a four-piece, though the live line-up can vary from two to seven people. In addition to Makrigiannis and Trier, the band includes Jakob Millung on bass and Casper Henning Hansen on drums. At one point Makrigiannis mentioned that they felt “really lucky and quite happy” to be back playing in New York again, and the band members’ enthusiasm definitely came across in their performance.

To close the evening, the band started out softly with “Claustrophobia” which crescendoed to a climatic ending, and instead of stopping there, segued into the hauntingly beautiful “Yamagata,” with its mellow, somber ending.

Choir of Young Believers will have a couple of shows in Los Angeles later in the week before heading to SXSW in Austin next week.

The opening act for Thursday’s bill at Pianos was Anni Rossi, who played a set of folksy yet catchy pop songs, notable for the plucked/strummed viola. Arms (featuring ex-Harlem Shakes guitarist Todd Goldstein) also opened, with a set of songs bearing folk-pop and alt-country influences. –Teresa Sampson, Photos by Teresa Sampson