CONCERT REVIEW: Carpenter Brut – Sierra Live at Brooklyn Steel 


Deep in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn with a nice long walk from the train, I’ve finally made it to Brooklyn Steel for a night of French musical goodness. Carpenter Brut can be considered both the name of the keyboardist/mastermind who perfers to be anonymous and also the name of the group itself. Take your pick. Starting the two-band bill night was Sierra who is making her American debut on this tour. Her EDM and Darkwave tones set the vibe perfectly for this moody dance night. She also was the sole vocalist performing live at this show. Armed with her DJ rig, drum pads, and hypnotic beats; Sierra is someone I’d like to see again.

After a quick set changeover, the collective Carpenter Brut hit the stage. Leaning heavily on their new album Leather Terror, they opened with funny enough, “Opening Title” and “Straight Outta Hell.” It was a very well-mixed set from all the EP classics, from “Meet Matt Stryker” to “Disco Zombi Italia.” I loved that throughout the set, CB took moments to physically praise his bandmates guitarist Adrien Grousset and drummer Florent Marcadet. They truly let the music speak for them. There is no microphone in sight for the few songs with vocals to get played like “Lipstick Masquerade.” It doesn’t seem out of place at all, the crowd and the sound system did all the work. This time around the video felt more like an accent to the lighting verse other times I’ve seen them. Where the video content was really integrated into the show, you almost had to just watch the video wall. It’s’ in no way a negative, just something different. With the pre-finale of “Turbo Killer,” you know the crowd wanted more. The only way to end this night was with their cover of Michael Sembello’s 1980s classic “Maniac.” The audience was finally satiated.

Carpenter Brut is just a visual and sonic assault of joy. Their light and video show enhance the almost 90-minute set. If you want to feel like you’re part of a movie, then Carpenter Brut is your real-life soundtrack.