Archers of Loaf hold a special place in my heart, as they were among the leaders of the vanguard of Chapel Hill, NC bands that cultivated an incredible college-town scene that first encouraged me to move to the area back in the 1990s. By the time I arrived in the area, many of the scene’s anchor bands like Archers and Polvo were broken up or about to, but what they created left an indelible impression, making this town in the heart of the “Research Triangle” of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill a major music destination, especially in the southeast, and propelling the local Cat’s Cradle club to near-legendary status. Archers, in particular, were a band with a lot of integrity, and one that thrived on an outstanding live show and the creative songwriting of frontman Eric Bachmann, who continues to be a creative force in his own right with his project Crooked Fingers.
Now, after a 13-year hiatus, the Archers are back, at least for now, joining a number of high-profile 1990s indie acts (like this one) on the reunion circuit. Storming the stage at Music Hall of Williamsburg to a raucous show of support, the Archers proved that they haven’t lost a step since their first retirement. With a setlist that focused heavily on earlier material from the albums Icky Mettle, Vee Vee and various EPs (much of which material can be found on the compilation The Speed of Cattle) and ignored almost completely the later records All the Nation’s Airports and White Trash Heroes, the band offered plenty of red meat to their most hardcore fans. Even for a Saturday night crowd, this one was going absolutely insane for their hosts, leading chants of “Welcome back! Welcome back!” as they took the stage and singing, screaming and caterwauling through the entire set. The band were so impressed with the Brooklyn crowd that they came back for a second encore featuring the non-album track “Smokin’ Pot in the Hot City” and closing with “Bacteria,” which was interrupted twice by a hilarious fan dancing onstage. As the house lights went up, the members could still be found onstage, high-fiving and shaking hands with the fans down front, many of whom had sung every word by heart.
I recorded this set with the DPA microphones from the balcony. I was not totally happy with the house mix in the venue, but the largest single flaw of the recording is a particularly enthusiastic audience member who really gets over the top (mostly) between songs. Suffice it to say, what you can hear of this person’s performance in this recording – made from directional microphones faced away from the crowd – was ten times louder in person. I’ll let listeners decide for themselves how they feel about it. Overall, the recording is a great representation of the night, for better or worse. Enjoy!
Thanks to our friends at Merge Records for granting us permission to record and for their support!
Stream “Greatest of All Time”:
Stream “Smokin’ Pot In the Hot City”:
Direct download of MP3 files [HERE]
Direct download of FLAC files [HERE]
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Archers of Loaf
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Brooklyn, NY USA
An acidjack master recording
Recorded and produced by acidjack for nyctaper.com
Equipment: DPA 4021>Oade M248>Sony PCM-M10 (24/44.1)
Position: Balcony, LOC, micas on clamp aimed down, PAS
Mastering: 24it/44.1kHz WAV>Audition (EQ, balance)>Audacity (tracking, set fades, amplify and balance)>FLAC ( level 8 )
Tracks [Total Time 1:24:47]
03 Harnessed In Slums
07 You and Me
09 Lowest Part Is Free
10 Freezing Point
11 Scenic Pastures
12 Form and File
15 Dead Red Eyes
17 Worst Defense
18 Greatest of All Time
19 Web in Front
20 What Did You Expect?
22 [encore break 1]
24 Plumb Line
25 Slow Worm
26 [encore break 2]
27 Smokin’ Pot In the Hot City
If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Archers of Loaf, visit their website, and purchase their official releases directly from Merge Records (who just re-released their debut album, Icky Mettle) [HERE]