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Frightened Rabbit: Rough Trade NYC 2016

Frightened Rabbit at Rough Trade NYC

Frightened Rabbit at Rough Trade NYC (photo by Gus Philippas/WFUV)

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“I have a long list of tepid disappointments” Scott Hutchison sings on “An Otherwise Disappointing Life,” a song from the fifth Frightened Rabbit album, Painting of a Panic Attack. Both this lyric and the album title are apt descriptions for the album’s sad or morbid fixations, painted with bursts of color, but there is nothing tepid or disappointing about this new collection of songs. In fact, as evidenced in this live performance at Rough Trade NYC, there is more beauty and emotional power in Frightened Rabbit’s sound than ever before.

It's a result of not just one, but several life-changing events over the past few years. Scott Hutchison moved to the States for a relationship, relocating to Los Angeles, then to Hudson, New York, then back to Los Angeles, and finally home to Glasgow. The time and distance from his bandmates necessitated learning some new ways of writing, recording and collaborating. That experience, combined with his work on the solo project Owl John (with several of his bandmates) and the opportunity to work with a musical hero, Aaron Dessner of The National, helped Frightened Rabbit to achieve new heights.

When we recorded this show at Rough Trade NYC in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Frightened Rabbit had only played these songs live a couple of times at small shows in Glasgow, and a television premiere of a new song the night prior, on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Plus, the album wasn’t even available yet (it came out on Friday, April 8).

So it was a very special night for an audience of about 200 fans and WFUV members, who were among the first to hear some of the new material performed live, as well as some old favorites, in a room much, much smaller than those they’re headed to on tour.

Setlist

  • Get Out
  • Holy
  • The Modern Leper
  • Woke Up Hurting
  • I Wish I Was Sober
  • Head Rolls Off
  • Break
  • Die Like a Rich Boy
  • The Woodpile

[recorded: 3/29/16]

Funding for WFUV’s ongoing coverage of live concerts and festivals comes from the Agnes Varis Trust, supporting affordable access to the arts, education and healthcare. Frightened Rabbit appears courtesy of Atlantic Records.

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