Photos by Tanner Pikop
For the second performance of their two-night stint at The Independent, Real Estate maintained the vibrations at a cool medium between casual and intimate. The venue was packed to capacity, and while they kept the audience interaction to friendly, nonchalant banter, they reportedly had a lot of family in the house. They greeted their mothers multiple times and highlighted the fact that it was the birthday of their good friend Grant, who also happened to hold some responsibility for the display behind the band–a three-by-five collection of white square that amplified the incandescent color being projected on stage.
Days away from the release of their third album, Atlas, which is officially out today on Domino Records, the band opened the set with the record’s lead-in track, “Had to Hear”. Though they focused in on the new LP, much like their set from the previous night, Real Estate ventured into their eponymous first album with “Fake Blues”, as well as their sophomore effort with songs like “Out of Tune”.
Lead singer Martin Courtney and Matt Mondaline’s dreamy guitar tones were most apparent on the instrumental “April’s Song”, a track that highlights their buoyant, intricately woven interplay, and on the short but sweet “Wonder Years”. Bassist Alex Bleeker takes lead vocals on the later track, and his endearing disposition poured into the crowd as they sang back the “do-do-do” refrain.
After the band treated the audience to the warm, familiar soundscape of “Crime”, the second single off of Atlas, Alex explained, “This isn’t on the set list, but we’re going to play it anyways.” Real Estate went into a full version of “All the Same”, complete with the four-plus-minute instrumental interlude, during which Matt let loose his most animated rock-out moment of the night.
With one last song, a stellar cover of The Nerves “Paper Dolls”, they left the stage, only to return moments later to sing “Happy Birthday”, to their friend Grant, who was sitting in the lighting/sound booth. To close out the night with a final encore, the band moved the crowd with “It’s Real”, arguably their most recognizable song. Primed and on the brink of its national tour in promotion of Atlas, Real Estate sustained a calculated cool, finding perfect symmetry in the realm between anticipation and veteran ease.