LIVE: He Is Legend @ Boston Music Rooms, London

By Rhian Wilkinson

A last minute downgrade from The Dome to the Boston Music Rooms meant fans were treated to an unexpectedly intimate He Is Legend show on Friday night.

The band takes to the stage a little before 10pm. Frontman Schuylar Croom is wearing a black denim jacket with a He Is Legend patch emblazoned on the back, and there is an acid green streak in his hair. He declares London is the only city where he never has to ask the crowd to come closer, crooning “stay close London, this is gonna hurt.” Croom then turns his back on the crowd for an unexpected groovy little dance sequence that sets the tone for the rest of the evening.

One thing is for sure at this point, Croom is a man who knows how to use his hips.

Shedding his jacket just one track in, the band drops into fan favourite ‘Everyone I Know Has Fangs’, a sweaty sing-along heavy track from 2009 album ‘It Hates You’. Having opened with 2006’s ‘The Widow of Magnolia, it becomes apparent that despite ‘Few’ being released on April 28th, this is not a set that is going to celebrate the new record.

Despite playing to what is frankly, a less than sold-out crowd, substantially smaller than their initial venue – the band appears to be having the time of their lives. Croom is a force to behold. Essentially the rock version of Father John Misty, his sass laden performance is incredible.

Frontmen of the next generation take note, Croom is doing how it should be done. This isn’t the Topshop leather jacket kind of awfulness we’re subjected to so heavily nowadays, it is authentic and grimy and everything you want from a stage show.

A track from 2014’s ‘Heavy Fruit’, ‘Be Easy’ appears to transform the show from a heavy rock show into a dance party. It’s less of a mosh pit and more of a good time. Croom inexplicably lights a match mid song, and licks it out in one smooth motion – most surprisingly, without setting his beard on fire. He never stops moving, dancing his way through the breaks, supported by the high energy of the other band members, it doesn’t seem out of place. They are having a good time, and so are we.

The only song from the new record that makes this set is ‘Sand’, but it comes away as a crowd favourite. People are off their feet, and enthusiastic about the new material. The chorus is sung back en-masse, heads are banged, and hands are thrown in the air. The crowd’s response to ‘Sand’ begs the question, should there have been a few more tracks from ‘Few’ in this set?

Acting as the catalyst for crowd eruption, from this point, the show evolves (devolves?) from dance party to mosh chaos. ‘Mean Shadows’ sees fans storm the stage, with stage dives and security attempting (and failing) to take back microphone, which then cuts out. But even a null and void microphone can’t stop this, so the show goes on. Vocals are revived before ‘The Seduction’ begins, and the show rolls on to end in a sweaty mess with ‘I Am Hollywood’.

After the fact we see Schuylar sitting outside the stage door shirtless and lighting a cigarette. He is everything you want from a rockstar in 2017 – there is edge and chaos, and he oozes a kind of cool that is unachievable by most people. It’s the kind of post-coital visual that should exist after a proper ‘rock show’.