Stereolab's 2022 North American tour rolled into NYC on Monday night (10/10) for the band's first of two shows at Brooklyn Steel. Having caught the opening night of the tour in Nashville back in September, I can say that the band are much more in a groove after a month of shows, even with technical issues delaying the start of their set. Laetitia Sadier, Tim Gane and the rest of the band all seemed to be in a good mood playing to a packed house that was excited to see them. Stereolab fans have a reputation of being motionless record nerds, but Monday's crowd was pretty energetic, from sustained applause to a little dancing, a little pogo-ing, and a lot of synchronized head nodding.
An informal survey from the massive line for merch after the shows found Dots and Loops (which just turned 25) to be their most popular album, but it was their dronier material that made the most impact live. Songs like "Harmonium" and "Super-Electric" absolutely roared like a sonic sandblaster of chugging guitars and organ cranked to the max. When they played "French Disko" during the encore, the din of heavy drones set against black-and-white projections of whirling fans was downright sinister.