Rocking the Big Apple: photos and report of Crawlers’ show in New York

Author Benedetta Baldin - 10.11.2023

The British band Crawlers is now touring the USA, and we will give you a glimpse of what happened in New York, thanks to the report and photos by Anya Tucker.

Crawlers is unexpectedly young for the amount of sheer talent and finesse apparent in their performances. Holly Minto is a dynamic singer, delivering the lines with the most punch directly into the faces of fans in the front row. With talent and a sharp wit, the musician engaged the crowd like they’ve been doing it their whole life. The club space at Elsewhere was filled with teens in dramatic makeup and band tees, with a smattering of Millenials and Gen X throughout the crowd.

It was a Tuesday night, but Crawlers fans showed up en masse to support the band on the second-to-last date of their 2023 tour, their highly-anticipated New York City show. The fans in attendance were fiercely loyal, with some travelling from halfway across the world and others staying 40 minutes after the set for a chance to meet the musicians who have impacted them.

The headlining band opened the show with their single from March, “That Time of Year Always,” the words echoing throughout the space as Holly sings “You’re always on my mind.” The song feels like autumn as the weather gets cold, and there is a growing fear of absence. The energy builds with the drums and bassline as the vocals repeat. The four-piece band is made up of vocalist Holly Minto, guitarist Amy Woodall, bassist Liv Kettle, and drummer Harry Breen.

The energy picked up with “Feminist Radical Hypocritical Delusional,” an unrelenting punk anthem that’s impossible not to sing and dance to. The chorus builds with Holly speaking, “They want it, they get it, it’s yours, so have it,” then repeating it at full volume, sending a surge of energy throughout the room. The front row sang at full volume while Holly leaned out over the edge of the stage to sing with them.

It was Liv’s birthday, and the crowd and band surprised them by singing Happy Birthday. Liv blushed and hid her face in her hands as everyone sang.

Holly makes a quip about exes and death and invites the crowd to a funeral. The band’s newest single, “Would You Come to My Funeral,” explodes with lyrics of long-lost lovers and emotions. Holly sings a verse, leaning on Amy, the pair singing to each other.

They performed a new song from their upcoming debut album, “The Mess We Seem to Make”, which will be released on February 16th from Interscope Records. The album is highly anticipated by fans, and this teaser lends us a taste of the emotional and sonic explosion that is sure to be found upon its release. They sounded well rehearsed, and their set was tight, and they appeared to be seasoned professionals sticking out from other musicians in their age group.

Holly joked before “I Can’t Drive” about not being able to drive and then laughed and said they were a passenger princess; the whole crowd giggled. The song tackles rough topics of emotional struggles and how the brutal reality is much harsher than an almost movie-like romanticization. Amy’s guitar starts soft and builds the emotional tension as the drums kick in.

During the song “Come Over (Again),” the song that rocketed Crawlers to TikTok fame in 2021, Holly asked the crowd to scream the iconic lyrics that the band became known for. The crowd happily complied, screaming, “Take her name out of your mouth, you don’t deserve to mourn” with the singer in a cathartic release of emotion.

The band has a flair for the dramatic, like during the “I Don’t Want It” interlude, where the guitarist and bassist were the only ones playing, dimly lit so the audience could only see their silhouettes. The production of the show was unmatched, with the sound of rock music filling the space and the crowd matching the energy of the band. One reason the band has had so much success is their eclectic sound, incorporating various elements from different genres, from paying homage to different types of rock to grunge, alternative, and indie.

This show was a contrast from their previous San Francisco show a few years back, with more synchronization between the music and visuals. Well-thought-out visuals like this as well as the smaller venue space, led to a more intimate feeling, playing to the audience of young queer people who supported their rise to fame online.

Crawlers ended the show with a song with their summer 2023 single called “Messiah,” a grunge anthem about questioning one’s coping mechanisms and the noise in your mind like guilt and self-hatred. The crescendo of the bridge had the crowd in a roar and really brought up the atmosphere in a great closing of the set.

Photos: Anya Tucker.