In one of the greater mysteries of the universe the bay area-based band, Geographer, has continued to fly under the radar despite releasing some of the best crowd pleasing synth-rock of the past six years or so. (FYI, Geographer has numerous videos which may be viewed on OurVinyl.tv here, one of which is featured at the bottom of this article) The band was named one of SPIN Magazine’s “Undiscovered Bands You Need to Hear Now” back in 2008 and you can find their music featured in movies and television shows however they still maintain a relatively low profile and take the time to meet with fans after shows. Geographer formed in 2006 when Michael Deni (lead vocals, guitar, synthesizers) left New Jersey, headed west to San Francisco and began mesmerizing open mic crowds with his haunting vocals, guitar riffs and synthesizer beats. After getting introduced to cellist Nathan Blaz and drummer Brian Ostreicher, Geographer the band, had formed. Since then the band has released two full length albums, an EP and a handful of enchanting covers.
Geographer’s headlining show at Glasslands was a welcome change from their shorter sets as the supporting band that always leave the crowd begging for more. Glasslands is a renovated warehouse in South Williamsburg that doubles as an art gallery and live music venue, showcasing a wide spectrum of bands several nights a week for crowds of devoted fans. The layout includes a smaller standing room and a lofted balcony overlooking the stage from the left side of the floor. Given the size it is not difficult to move around for a different view throughout the show.
Geographer’s “Can’t You Wait”
The Geographer show was packed in anticipation of Geographer’s intimate headlining performance. The band started the show strong with the ethereal “Verona” and the crowd instantly broke into dance. Deni was a true charmer on stage and praised the New York crowd for always making their shows something akin to a dance party. Soon the band began playing “Paris” off their hit0laden 2010 EP, Animal Shapes, and the crowd got into a synth fueled rhythm. “Lover’s Game” from the 2012 release, Myth, followed as Geographer played to the crowd and ramped up the BPM. With the smoke machine at full power, the band played a new song off an upcoming yet to be named LP. Deni’s soaring falsetto ensured the coming new music would continue in their tradition of evocative and beautiful melodies. The smash single “Kites” found everyone crooning along as Deni left the stage and joined the crowd with the microphone in tow. Another new yet-to-be-named song came next along with the always popular “Original Sin.” Finally, the Arthur Russell cover, “This is How We Walk the Moon,” closed out the set on a high note including a highly passionate saxophone performance from Deni.
After a short reprieve the encore began with “The Boulder,” a haunting song that highlights the elasticity in Deni’s voice. To end the show the band chose “Can’t You Wait” and the crowd sang back every lyric. In a charming slip up, the timing of the song started off wrong and Deni was quick to start it over, giving the eager crowd another couple minutes of the band they all clamor to see.
After catching them live at NYC’s Glasslands it really seems clear that Geographer may just be one breakthrough single away from reaching their rightful place in the pop culture sphere. Their live show comprised of what’s needed to make their audience walk away with excitement. And with a new LP on the way, which just may bring with it potentials for the aforementioned breakthrough, it’s truly only a matter of time before they are playing to much larger crowds. As they should be.
Written by Parker Hooper
OurVinyl | Contributor