Voxtrot @ Webster Hall, New York, US, 17 September, 2022 | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, October 5th, 2022  

Voxtrot

Voxtrot @ Webster Hall, New York, US, 17 September, 2022,

Sep 19, 2022 Photography by Matthew Berlyant Web Exclusive
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The last time I saw Voxtrot was their last appearance in Philadelphia in late 2007. Singer/guitarist Ramesh Srivastava had to sit down for the entire show due to leg pain (he had to go straight to the hospital afterwards and had a staph infection) and ranted bitterly about the reception of their self-titled debut album not meeting expectations. Therefore, I’d long thought a reunion was unlikely, but when it was announced earlier this year, I couldn’t have been happier.

Voxtrot’s first show in New York (and anywhere on planet earth not counting a secret warm-up show the other night in their hometown of Austin) in 12 years (!) was, in direct contrast to the above show, an unmitigated triumph. The fact that all 5 of their members (especially Ramesh, whose stage presence and enthusiasm is just undeniable) looked thrilled to be there and to be playing in front of a packed house was enough to make this a memorable evening, but in getting to hear a perfect set of songs from their mid ‘00s CD EPs (now reissued on vinyl as Early Music), only album (2007’s self-titled XL release), and rarities and B-sides like “The Warmest Part of the Winter” (played as part of the encore) or “15 Minutes,” one couldn’t have asked for a better return from the Texas quintet who ruled the indie-pop scene in the mid to late ‘00s.

Opening with “Raised by Wolves,” the set ran through an hour and a half, even taking in the underheard 2009 single “Berlin Without Return” alongside more familiar material like “Long Haul” (sung by Ramesh himself as he was on the piano with multi-instrumentalist Jared Van Fleet playing other keyboard parts next to him), “Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Wives,” and of course, their first single, the Smiths-like “The Start of Something.”

At various points during that song and set closer “Missing Pieces,” it felt like the floorboards at Webster Hall (a club they played at here in the late ‘00s and which even spawned a DVD release, so it was a fitting return) were about to collapse from the excitement and so many people dancing and singing along. Ramesh had even mentioned that someone flew in from Hong Kong for the show, which just shows just how much anticipation there was for this reunion, which at least from their onstage comments, seemed to confuse but pleasantly surprise him and the rest of the band.

While the future is unclear for Voxtrot and in cases like this depending upon how long the reunion lasts and if new material is recorded, one can only hope that given how positive and life-affirming this evening was that the good vibes continue. In the meantime, catch them play if you can!




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