The Clientele @ Songbyrd Music House – August 12th 2023
The Clientele @ Songbyrd Music House – August 12th 2023

Photo Gallery: The Clientele @ Songbyrd Music House – August 12th 2023

It’s been six long years since their last release, but The Clientele returned last month with I Am Not There Anymore, their most ambitious album to date. The double album released on Merge Records walks the fine line of taking the band in a more experimental direction, while still maintaining enough of the pop hooks that they have long been known for to keep it familiar.

A new album means a tour, and the band are in the midst of a short run of US dates. Saturday evening brought them to Songbyrd Music House in Washington, DC, where they played to a sold out crowd of fans and the occasional stray who apparently just wandered in off of the street. (“You all are really good,” shouted one guy who had clearly never heard the band before. “Where are you from?” “Richmond,” deadpanned Alasdair without missing a beat.) Even the band seemed surprised when the audience demanded a second encore and made it clear they weren’t leaving without one.

The Clientele are one of those bands that you definitely wish would come around more often, but that makes it all the more important not to miss them when they do. They’ve got a short series of west coast dates from LA to Seattle coming up over the next week, after which they’ll be headed back home for some Europe and UK dates in the fall. Hopefully the muse won’t make us wait another six years for the next time, but if it does we know it will be worth it.

Baltimore-based indie pop band The Smashing Times opened the show with a set that was unfortunately marred by a poor sound mix in which the vocals could barely be heard. What could be heard, though, was intriguing enough to definitely want to check them out again. The band releases their second album, This Sporting Life, on K Records in October.

PHOTOS © MATT CONDON

The Clientele

The Smashing Times

The Clientele setlist

Claire’s Not Real
Since K Got Over Me
Chalk Flowers
We Could Walk Together
Garden Eye Mantra
Everyone You Meet
Reflections After Jane
Hey Siobhan
Joseph Cornell
Lady Grey
Lamplight
The Age of Miracles

Bonfires on the Heath
I Dreamed of You, Maria

(I Can’t Seem to) Make You Mine

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