American Football at Warsaw Brooklyn Concert Review
Written by Jeff Ramella on June 4, 2019
By Jeffrey Alexander Lopez
American Football is perhaps one of the most prolific and genre-defining emo bands of all time. With the release of their classic 1999 self titled album, the band left a rippling effect on the scene of emo music. Frontman Mike Kinsella, had already established himself as an emo prophet prior to American Football. Along with his brother Tim, the Kinselas created an extremely influential project, “Cap’n Jazz”. This band’s style is revitalized today by bands like emo revivalist projects such as Algernon Cadwallader, Glocca Morra, and You Blew It!. Kinsella’s style has been emulated enough for “Kinsella-esque” to be a term used commonly by music reviewers. After their debut album, American Football split up and Frontman Mike Kinsella worked on other projects such as Joan of Arc and Owls. After a 17 year hiatus, American Football returned as inconspicuous as they left with LP 2. Despite receiving mediocre reviews on LP 2, American Football returned early this year with a project that received much praise. Using an array of different female vocalists, Kinsella pairs his harsh aged vocals against their soft-spoken timbre in LP3. Incorporating the likes of Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, and others, Kinsella intersects the mathy music of LP1 with a breath of fresh air.
On the 24th of May, American Football stopped by Warsaw Brooklyn on tour to promote their acclaimed LP3. Bringing along Pure Bathing Culture, an interesting indie-pop outfit, American Football put on a great show. The aforementioned opening band played a collection of danceable pop songs including some from their new album, Night Pass. The lead singer, Sarah Versprille, emulated a Stevie Nicks style of performing with eccentric hand motions. Many of the show attendees came just to see Pure Bathing Culture as opposed to American Football. After PBC’s set, American Football came on stage 30 minutes later. Playing their most prolific single, Uncomfortably Numb and inviting Sarah Versprille back on stage, American Football started their set off strong. They used standing light bulbs which were scattered along the stage blinking to add to the song’s ambiance. After playing some songs from LP3 with the female parts played by Versprille, they returned to their roots with their classics. Despite American Football’s very subpar sophomore album, both the set and album seem to be a surprising near return to form.