Pinback Close Out First Tour in Four Years at Webster Hall
May 01, 2023
Pinback – Webster Hall – April 30, 2023
Pinback have always maintained a stealth steadiness over the decades. They’ve never been a showy project. But they’re hardly a blip in the story of early aughts indie rock. At Webster Hall on Sunday night, the last night of their first tour in four years, the crowd and its perceptible energy were a testament to that well-earned rep. It can’t go unsaid that, despite that goodwill, one might’ve felt minorly bummed that one half of the ever-constant members was benched with bronchitis. (Zach Smith, feel better soon.)
But Nick Reinhart, of opener Disheveled Cuss, Tera Melos and many other endeavors, made for a terrific stand-in. His bass hit the punchy builds and the math-y breaks on “AFK” (Summer in Abaddon, 2004) just right. And his vocals were near mimetic on “Good to Sea,” that most reliable 2007 pop-adjacent track, off Autumn of the Seraphs.
Speaking of good work, current drummer Chris Prescott put in his, too. He kept the particulars of Pinback’s pacing in seemingly tricky songs like “Penelope” (Blue Screen Life, 2001) and ripped it on the big numbers, like “Non Photo-Blue” (Summer in Abaddon) and, of course, “Fortress,” off the same album. Between those two numbers and the collage of sepia-toned bus-stop photos playing behind the trio on “Concrete Seconds,” (Blue Screen Life) I’m pretty sure Webster Hall went down a time-collapsing wormhole, at least for a moment.
Or maybe it was Rob Crow, whose voice remains somehow thrillingly unchanged. Hearing him play was a trip for a 30-something raised on his melodic yelps and his somewhat sultry lows. It was a treat then to have him go acoustic for “This Red Book” during the encore. At show’s end, and a couple times during the set, he thanked the crowd for hanging, appearing genuinely grateful. You’re welcome, Rob. Come through again soon. —Rachel Brody | @RachelCBrody