Photo by Ken Sears
Despite David Wax Museum being a favorite around here, it had somehow been four years since I had seen them. Obviously the last two years were what they were, but four years is a long, long time to go without seeing one of my favorite bands. When I saw they were swinging through New England and playing my new favorite local venue, I knew I had to head up to the seacoast of New Hampshire.
For this tour, David Wax Museum are playing as a trio with multi-instrumentalist Alec Spiegelman. He's produced the last two David Wax Museum, has played with the band in the past, and is a member of Cuddle Magic. The experience of David Wax Museum playing as a trio is between a duo house concert and a full band club gig. It's still a laid back experience, but with a little more energy than a living room show. While there were spots of higher energy, it was a more subdued, laid back performance. Of all the times I've seen the band, it's always a completely different experience between the band's configuration and fitting the venue.
Also adding to the evening being a brand new experience, since I last saw them in 2018, they've put out three full length albums. The majority of the songs played at The Word Barn were from these albums, especially Remember My Future and Euphoric Ouraboric. Only a handful of songs were played from earlier albums, but no one minded at all. Like I said, a David Wax Museum fan knows to expect a new experience every time, and they've been sitting on a lot of these songs for a long time without being able to play them live. And audiences at The Word Barn always seem to be particularly receptive.
Some of the musical highlights of the night were the brand new songs "Love Light" and 'Georgette." David Wax rarely explains what his songs are about, but he did explain that "Georgette" is about his smart phone, which he only recently started using. More classic songs that were dusted off included "When You Are Still" off the recently remastered Carpenter Bird, "Guesthouse," and "Born With a Broken Heart," which was kind of their breakout hit in 2011. Towards the end of the band's first set, they switched things up a bit to play three songs off Suz Slezak's upcoming solo album. A highlight of this was "Take Me," which Slezak played completely solo while snow fell outside of the window to make things a little extra magical.
David Wax Museum's closeness with their fans is always one of their best attributes as a band. They still pass around a mailing list during their show, keeping things as grassroots as possible. They tell stories of their kids being on tour with them, and in the small crowd of The Word Barn, there were two couples that had David Wax Museum play at their weddings. As always, any time you get out to see them is truly special.