A sell-out crowd packed into the Deaf Institute to see New Jersey outfit, Real Estate, and drink in their mellow, indie sounds, on Friday.
The four-piece are an easy-going rock band whose light tones whimsically express stories of love found and lost. The music was sometimes too mellow and at times it felt like more of a backing track to the evening instead of the centre-piece. This is not to detract from their quality, but rather that they have perfected their soft and melodic style.
A far cry from their fellow statesman, Bruce Springsteen, this bunch rock the geek-chic look with unsymmetrical, edgy hairdos, thick-rimmed glasses and with their top buttons firmly fastened; a la Ryan Adams.
The set list consisted largely of tracks from their first album Days, which pleased the crowd, with the much-loved songs encouraging cheering and dancing amongst the masses.
The track Green Aisle was a particular hit with the Manchester crowd, yet frontman Martin Courtney seemed blasé to their approving cheers as he sulkily strummed on his mint green Fender Strat; think Morrissey with a guitar.
Easy opened the set and provoked spontaneous dancing and singing as the lyrics of ‘Around the fields we run, with love for everyone’ gave the Deaf Institute a touch of that countryside freedom that is expressed in the song.
Beach Comber and Municipality were another two tracks that went down really well with the sold-out crowd and Manchester was left cheering for more as the band took a break before signing off with the encore.
The band said little to the crowd during their time on stage and the divide between performer and punter was greater than usual. However, this did not seem to deter from the attraction but almost added to their mystique.
The band, formed in New Jersey, in 2008, comprise of the winning four-member formula, which includes singer/guitarist Martin Courtney, bassist Alex Bleeker, guitarist Matthew Mondanile and drummer Jackson Pollis.
After a slight shake-up of band members back in 2011, with original drummer Etienne Pierre Duguay replaced by Pollis, Real Estate were ready to show case their new act and were soon signed to the Domino Recording Company.
Real Estate will continue their tour of Europe before heading to Australia. They are then set to return to their native North America where they will continue the tour until May. This year is set to be a big one for the band and it could be make or break in many ways.
With a docile, almost Beach Boys-style vibe, Real Estate are the perfect easy-going band to see for all kinds of music-lovers.