Ridgewood, New Jersey surf-rockers Real Estate headlined the Bowery Ballroom CMJ showcase event last night, introduced by fellow artists Jonathan Rado, Hookworms, and Piano Movers.
With three openers and an 8 o'clock start time, Real Estate did not begin until 11, but they maintained the same laid back, carefree energy that held up the whole show. Opening with "Easy", the opening track off of their 2011 hit album Days, the set featured songs from all across their discography. Lead singer Martin Courtney described the set list as such, a little bit of old and a little bit of new, hinting at the release of their new album in early 2014.
The band stayed true to that description, as almost half the set was made up of unreleased songs. The older songs filled the room with surf vibes and good feelings, with crowd-pleasers like "Municipality," "It's Real," and "Beach Comber" seeming effortlessly arranged on stage to a subtle, calming ambiance. Even the hiccups, notably one at the beginning of "It's Real," were passed over with a calm laugh, a brief apology, and a perfect restart to the song seconds later.
One of the most memorable tracks performed was "Wonder Years," again off of Days, sung by bassist Alex Bleeker. In between swigs of whiskey Alex sung the song with a perfect Pavement-esque drawl, upping the quota for slacker energy expressed onstage.
Ending the set with "Beach Comber," the first track off of their self-titled debut, the band came back for an encore. They started up again with a few tracks that were faster, slightly out of character, but still enjoyable.
For the finale, Real Estate performed "All The Same," once more off of Days. The track served as a perfect closer. With the lyrics "It's all right, it's ok, because the night is just another day," serving almost as an assurance that while the show might be over, Real Estate will be around to impress for many more days.