Deep in the heart of northern Brooklyn, within the quieter neighborhood realm of Greenpoint, an old Lutheran church now run by the Park Church Co-op welcomed a very non-traditional church-going audience on Thursday evening. There was no talk of God or any higher power at the gathering on this night, although the blissful and somewhat angelic melodies coming from the altar were certainly worthy of a Sunday mass performance.
On this night it was ambient rock band Cigarettes After Sex who were providing their own special sermon. The four piece group were a long way from their El Paso, TX roots as they welcomed fans and industry friends alike into the old Brooklyn church to celebrate the release of their debut LP.
While the doors opened around 7:30sh, it wasn’t until shortly after 9 p.m. when the band would finally take the stage. By the time the band began to play, most of the pews had filled up and became standing room only in the muggy old building. As large fans hummed and kept the audience somewhat less sweaty throughout their short performance, it was the band's relaxed melodies and easy-flowing, atmospheric new tunes which kept the church at a leveled balance of cool.
Throughout the show, the group led fans and friends through a mix of their new and older material. A wave of ambient guitar and synth sounds of “Apocalypse,” “Young & Dumb,” “Each Time You Fall In Love” and the dreamy 90s alt-rock sounding “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” echoed throughout the acoustic-friendly building. Their well-known cover of REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You” also made an appearance close to the end.
It wasn’t your typical concert, but taking away the use of lighting effects and a bombastic sound system will isolate and expose a band’s true ability to perform well or not. Cigarettes After Sex passed this test with flying colors, thus commencing and ending their Church Tour of 2017.