WASHINGTON, DC: Pelican performs a sold-out show at DC9. November 2, 2013. ? Brandon Wu / for the Washington City Paper.

Since its last show in D.C. in 2009, Chicago instrumental metal outfit Pelican has released a new record, replaced a guitarist, and gained the ability to sell out a string of shows. DC9’s sellout was the group’s fourth full house of the current tour, and it was justified: Pelican delivered the goods with a set that easily transcended its recorded material. Live, the band—-especially leader and guitarist Trevor de Brauw—-has an infectious energy that belies the occasionally drowsy nature of its songs.

I’ve been interested in Pelican since its debut EP, with its unforgettable “The Woods,” which was released in non-demo form a full decade ago. But this was actually my first time seeing the band live, and it didn’t disappoint in any way.

Check out a dozen photos in the full slideshow, including a few of openers Coliseum.

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