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Antony & the Johnsons @ Town Hall (night 1), NYC – pics

photos by Toby Tenenbaum, words by Noah Perabo

no Antony did not age, this was the opener!
The Mystery of Claywoman

An eclectic crowd filled Town Hall last night (2/19) for a moving performance by Antony & The Johnsons. The Johnsons was made up of six exceptional players, none moreso than Doug Weiselman whose work on the guitar/clarinet/sax shined all night. Yet it was band leader/pianist Antony Hagerty whose signature vocals stole the show. Throughout the 16-song set, Antony spoke about New York City (“It’s good to be home. Yes, this is my home. The funny thing about New York is that no one can tell you it’s not your home. It’s yours.”), about his fears of environmental catastrophe, about books, about philosophy and at times he just stared off, deep in thought while the respectful crowd sat in silence, perhaps deep in thought themselves. His music has that effect: lulling you into a dreamland. He admitted that he too got “taken away” during “Cripple and the Starfish” when he began a verse with the wrong lyrics, then playfully improvised until the music got back to a place where he could start again.

One of the set’s highlights came during “Epilepsy is Dancing” a cut from his latest release The Crying Light. Antony’s vocals complemented the classical sound of the acoustic guitarist’s picking perfectly, creating lush acoustics that filled the room. Another standout was “Fistful of Love” which built slowly into storm of drums, rollicking electric guitar and crescendo piano. The crowd roared with approval at it’s conclusion. He closed the show with crowd-favorite, “Hope There’s Someone” a beautiful song that balances Antony’s outlook of sadness and hope.

The show was opened by a short performance piece titled The Mystery of Claywoman, a 20-minute character-driven philosophical lecture by Michael Cavadias. Only Antony would invite such an act to open the show.

Antony & The Johnsons play Town Hall again tonight (2/20). More pictures from last night, below…

Antony & The Johnsons

The Mystery of Claywoman…

The Mystery of Claywoman

The Mystery of Claywoman

The Mystery of Claywoman

The Mystery of Claywoman

The Mystery of Claywoman

Antony & The Johnsons…

Antony & The Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons

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