Black Rebel Motorcycle Club play London in April.Photo: Dylan Walker / Camera Press / Retna
Outside Webster Hall last night, a man wandered into the holding area with a set of tickets in his hand. No big surprise there — except that he wasn’t a scalper. This was Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s lawyer, giving tickets to fans who had been shut out of the show. One pair was awarded to a gentleman who claimed he’d come all the way from Germany and had been putting up with abuse from the club’s bouncers since four in the afternoon.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club probably didn’t know that their biggest German fan was in the crowd, but they didn’t disappoint him. Spending the first half of the set mostly hidden in darkness, the San Franciscans snared the sold-out crowd with fuzzily anthemic tunes and a strobe-heavy light show, then settled into a loose, easy groove with the chugging “Took Out a Loan” and the dreamily melodic ballad “All You Do Is Talk.” After an acoustic interlude that included solo turns from bassist Robert Been and guitarist Peter Hayes — plus a very well-received “Devil’s Waitin’,” which included a mean harmonica solo — the band called it a night. But the crowd demanded a second encore, even after the house lights had come up and the exit music kicked in on the PA. Been took some requests and ultimately jumped into the crowd for the grand finale, giving away his bass to some fans during his final exit. We wonder if a certain devoted Deutschlander haggled for it later. —Kyle Anderson