When Handsome Furs took the stage at SOhO last Tuesday for the penultimate stop on a nine-month world tour, it was most certainly a change of scenery for them. Having just finished the last month charting their way around Eastern Europe, Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry surely did not know what to expect from their first visit to our little town. The turnout may have been modest, but when the pair strolled out on deck to an ecstatic welcome, the look on their faces was proof enough that S.B. can get just as kinetic as any metropolis.
To be fair, it’s damn near impossible to remain still while watching this curious couple twitch and convulse through songs like “Bury Me Standing” and “What About Us,” which they introduced as “the closest we’re gonna get to a love song.” Despite writing their material entirely on keyboards and drum machines, Handsome Furs bring an energy to the stage that is inimitably organic. Perhaps this is due in part to Boeckner’s masterful ability to match his cerebral guitar to the right keyboard tones, or his wife’s ability to dance as she reigns expertly over the drum machine.
Whatever the case, it seemed all too soon when Handsome Furs finally slowed down for the closing rendition of “Serve the People,” off their third and latest effort, Sound Kapital. Though the protest hymn marched to a noticeably slower tempo than the rest of their set, it still hit harder than ever with satisfying percussion and huge, climactic vocals. Not ones to leave a body unsatisfied, the pair followed up with an encore of “Legal Tender” and “Agony” before disappearing for good — a heartfelt end from the subtly sexiest couple in indie rock.