The War on Drugs took the stage Tuesday night in the first of two sold-out shows at the Independent. Formed in Philadelphia in 2005 by Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile (who departed for his solo act), the band is known for smooth, haunting vocals mixed with heavily distorted guitar riffs laid on top of a mosaic of driving percussion and keyboard melodies. Depending on what you are reading, their sound is compared to Petty, Springsteen or Dylan; often you hear shades of all three within the set. The music sucks you in, and, at times, it felt like the crowd at the Independent was entranced.
For lead vocalist and guitarist Granduciel, the show was a bit of a homecoming having spent time living in Bernal Heights. More interested in giving the crowd a solid show than talking on stage, he still made time to recognize his former neighborhood of residence.
Check out “Red Eyes” from the newly released album Lost in the Dream: