Sunny Day Real Estate were truly stunning at their first NYC show in 13 years (review, videos)
Jeremy Enigk can be a bit reclusive, and Sunny Day Real Estate can be a bit averse to giving the people what they want, so I wasn't 100% sure what to expect from them at their first NYC show in 13 years, but it only took about 5 seconds into opener "Pillars" to see that Sunny Day Real Estate were prepared to put on the show of a lifetime. Jeremy seemed not just excited to be playing these classic songs again, but genuinely grateful to see how many people had showed up to pack the cavernous Brooklyn Steel on Thursday night (9/29), their first of two consecutive nights at the venue. His voice also sounded great, and the band -- an expanded five-piece with original members Jeremy Enigk, Dan Hoerner on guitar, and William Goldsmith on drums, alongside live bassist Chris Jordan and third guitarist/backing vocalist Jason Narducy (of Bob Mould's band, Superchunk, Split Single, etc) -- was as tight as you could ask for. The "Midwest emo" sound -- which Sunny Day Real Estate, despite being from Seattle, are widely considered progenitors of -- is often raw and scrappy, but Sunny Day were refined and full of finesse. The three-guitar setup allowed them to layer their sound and really fill the room with a triumphant, swelling atmosphere. And Jeremy's voice soared over all of it, just the way it does on Sunny Day's classic records.
As for the setlist, Sunny Day Real Estate touched on all four of their distinctly different albums, from the second wave emo ground zero of Diary to that album's more experimental followup LP2 to the artsier albums from their second act, How It Feels To Be Something On and The Rising Tide. They also played their newest song, "Lipton Witch," which came out on a 2014 split with Circa Survive. And as different as their albums do sound, Sunny Day Real Estate built a setlist that sounded entirely cohesive. They played the Diary songs in a way that fit in perfectly with the more ethereal How It Feels songs, without losing an ounce of their original bite. Comparatively deeper cuts like The Rising Tide's towering title track and LP2's climactic "J'Nuh" hit just as hard as the widely-loved "Seven" and "In Circles." For the roughly 90 minutes that Sunny Day Real Estate were on stage, not a single dull moment passed.
Opening the show was a band who were very influenced by Sunny Day Real Estate early on, but eventually became emo/post-rock legends of their own, The Appleseed Cast. They did highlights from their latest album, 2019's great The Fleeting Light of Impermanence, along with classics like "Fishing the Sky," "Ceremony," and more, and their immersive, atmospheric sound was a well-matched primer for SDRE's set. Sunny Day and The Appleseed Cast do it again at Brooklyn Steel on Friday night (9/30), and tickets are still available. UPDATE: night two happened. Check out pictures from it below, along with some fan-shot videos from Thursday night and a list of all remaining tour dates.
Sunny Day Real Estate / The Appleseed Cast -- 2022 Tour Dates
Friday, September 30, 2022 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Steel
Saturday, October 1, 2022 - Philadelphia, PA - The Fillmore
Monday, October 3, 2022 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
Saturday, December 3, 2022 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
Sunday, December 4, 2022 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theater
Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - Austin, TX - Emo's
Wednesday, December 7, 2022 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
Thursday, December 8, 2022 - Dallas, TX - Studio at The Factory
Saturday, December 10, 2022 - Phoenix, AZ - The Van Buren
Sunday, December 11, 2022 - San Diego, CA - The Observatory SD
Monday, December 12, 2022 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
Wednesday, December 14, 2022 - San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom
Friday, December 16, 2022 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theater
Sunday, December 18, 2022 - Seattle, WA - The Moore Theatre