Dirty Projectors: Headliner material

Mark Thompson photos

As American indie bands go, Dirty Projectors are perhaps too perfectly conceived. Leader David Longstreth, a Yale graduate, has always taken popular music very seriously, to the point that one of his first projects was a musical study of the work of Don Henley. His music has always been complicated and challenging, even if his subjects are strange.

At the Red Marquee on Sunday, in a slot that immediately followed the Dylan show, Longstreth and his freshly reconfigured mates made a stab at being geniune headliners, the kind who can hold an audience and entertain them. And for the most part they succeeded. The songs built up a head of steam that made for a real rock show, and the audience, who didn’t always seem to be familiar with the material, nevertheless went along with the plan and came out the other end genuinely entertained.