Murder By Death Bringing Rock Back at Webster Hall

Photo by: Ryan Loya

Named after a 1976 Robert Moore film with the same name, Bloomington Indiana rock ‘n roll revival group Murder By Death road into town at NYC’s Webster Hall with stage attire reminiscent of a turn of the century traveling band from a gothic Western of sorts. The crowd was treated to a seriously vibrant set including tracks from 2010’s Good Morning, Magpie and 2008’s Red of Tooth and Claw and 2006’s Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them.

 They also played “No Oath, No Spell” which demonstrated a bluesy twang, and rumbling with a drum driven barroom flair, and the first single off of Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, “I Came Around” which hits shelves on September 25th from Bloodshot Records. A real treat for an already hyped up crowd of die hard fans, the new material only served to wet their appetites until September.

Photo by: Ryan Loya

Photo by: Ryan Loya


Being that their tour started a few days prior to the Webster Hall show, the “just  got started” energy level was evident with the opening notes of “Until Morale Improves” coupled with the dark imagery turning towards whiskey soaked nights and battles with the devil and various personal demons as in “The Devil in Mexico”.


Lead singer Adam Turla’s husky baritone was even more powerful in a live setting, especially during songs like “Comin Home”, delivering lines sounding like a straight up gothic Johnny Cash. Dark though the material may be, watching them perform live you’ve never seen a group more enveloped while playing their many instruments. Keyboardist Scott Brackett, of the band Okkervil River, impressed the crowd with spectacular turns on the accordion, mandolin and even the theremin. Cellist Sarah Balliet shredded during a beautifully haunting version of “Foxglove”. Turla bantered with the audience and expressed how humbled the entire MBD crew was to be playing in NYC again and thanked everyone for such a welcoming reception on this, their North American tour.

Photo by: Ryan Loya

An encore included a spectacular show of sparks, literally, as Brackett managed to shoot sparks from an igniter next to his keyboard in time with Turla’s vocals, adding an even more dramatic flair to the already rousing beat of the music. Murder By Death’s North American headlining tour continues through August 25th. This includes an August 3rd show at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, as well as two-night stands at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on August 4th and 5th and at the Bluebird Theater in Denver on August 16th and 18th. Check out the tour dates below and for band info click here.



Murder By Death tour dates:
JUL. 12          PITTSBURGH, PA                  MR. SMALL’S THEATRE*JUL. 13          WASHINGTON, DC                BLACK CAT*JUL. 14          BOSTON, MA                        PARADISE ROCK CLUB*JUL. 15          NEW HAVEN, CT                   CAFÉ 9*

JUL. 17          NEW YORK, NY                     WEBSTER HALL*

JUL. 18          PHILADELPHIA, PA                 UNION TRANSFER*

JUL. 20          TORONTO, ON                      THE HORSESHOE TAVERN#

JUL. 21          CLEVELAND, OH                    GROG SHOP*

JUL. 22          LEXINGTON, KY                    COSMIC CHARLIE’S*

JUL. 24          NASHVILLE, TN                    MERCY LOUNGE*

JUL. 25          MEMPHIS, TN                       NEWBY’S#

JUL. 26          BATON ROUGH, LA                SPANISH MOON#

JUL. 27          HOUSTON, TX                       FITZGERALD’S#

JUL. 28          AUSTIN, TX                          MOHAWK#

JUL. 31          SANTA FE, NM                      SOL SANTA FE*

AUG. 1           PHOENIX, AZ                       CRESCENT BALLROOM*

AUG. 2           SAN DIEGO, CA                    THE CASBAH*

AUG. 3           LOS ANGELES, CA                 EL REY THEATRE*

AUG. 4           SAN FRANCISCO, CA              BOTTOM OF THE HILL%

AUG. 5           SAN FRANCISCO, CA              BOTTOM OF THE HILL*

AUG. 8           BELLINGHAM, WA                  THE SHAKEDOWN%

AUG. 9           VANCOUVER, BC                   THE MEDIA CLUB%

AUG. 10         SEATTLE, WA                        TRACTOR TAVERN%

AUG. 11         PORTLAND, OR                      DANTE’S%

AUG. 14         BOISE, ID                             NEUROLUX%

AUG. 15         SALT LAKE CITY, UT                BAR DELUXE%

AUG. 16         DENVER, CO                          BLUEBIRD THEATER%

AUG. 17         DENVER, CO                          BLUEBIRD THEATER%

AUG. 18         OMAHA, NE                           THE WAITING ROOM%

AUG. 20         ST. LOUIS, MO                       PLUSH%

AUG. 22         IOWA CITY, IA                       GABE’S OASIS%

AUG. 23         MINNEAPOLIS, MN                  TRIPLE ROCK%

AUG. 24         MILWAUKEE, WI                     TURNER HALL%

AUG. 25         CHICAGO, IL                          METRO*

* Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons & Ha Ha Tonka support

# Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons support

% Ha Ha Tonka support



Allison O'Rourke

When not working in the television industry for the MAN, Allison is a music journalist, avid music nerd and attends as many live shows as possible in her hometown of New York City. Always embracing music and the creative process, she has begun to take part in the process itself and hopes to one day leave a little piece of herself behind for others.

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