Frightened Rabbit @ Terminal 5
610 W. 56th St. 212-582-6600. $23-$260. 7 p.m.
with Plants And Animals and The Phantom Band
Scottish indie rockers Frightened Rabbit have made enormous commercial strides over the past 12 or so months. Like such acts as The National and The Hold Steady (two bands with whom FR are tangentially connected), the Selkirk, Scotland outfit has gone from the fringes to the center of a certain kind of populist rock: They’re traditional enough to appeal to the WFUV/Paste Magazine crowd, but cutting edge enough to play to Pitchfork readers. That’s an empty way of categorizing the band, of course, and their music is much more interesting than that synopsis might imply. The band’s third album, this year’s The Winter of Mixed Drinks, is more robust, more brightly colored, than its predecessor, 2008’s The Midnight Organ Fight, and in some regards, that leads to what might seem like less compelling music. But Winter has held up well since its release, and it is a very direct growth from Midnight; most importantly, frontman Scott Hutchison still displays great melodic gifts and songcraft that showcases humor, earnestness and bottomless pain. The band has played consistently larger venues—in 2009 they played the microscopic Maxwell’s in Hoboken; now they’re at the cavernous and awful Terminal 5 in Manhattan. But it’s surely better than having to see them at Madison Square Garden (the next logical step for FR, if the Arcade Fire and Phoenix are any indication), and anyway, their sound is big enough to fill the room, any room, no matter how enormous.