On Wednesday night a friend invited me to attend a birthday party at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg. Knowing that I love the club and that it was a free invite, it was pretty much automatic that I'd attend. The really enticing thing about the show was that there were five bands scheduled to perform: The Antlers, Dawes, Deer Tick, Pela, Tokyo Police Club. I didn't bring my camera because I wasn't sure if it would be cool to take pics & video since I was invited as a guest (and sometimes it's nice to sit back and just take a show in). Here's some general notes off the top of my head about each band:
I had read a bit about these guys and listened to some of their clips a couple of weeks ago. They went on first and I'd say that there were only about 100 people in the crowd so it was easy to get close (actually, it was pretty spacious most of the night which is a nice contrast to the usual club shows). The Antlers were a 3-piece band: Guitar, Keyboard and Drums. I liked their sound and thought they did a nice job getting the show going. Solid opening band for sure. You can check out their website HERE and I'd recommend the song "Bear".
This was the one band on the schedule that was completely new to me but my buddy Richard told me that he heard they were really good. Let me tell you, they stole the show in my opinion. It's pretty rare nowadays to be blown away by a band that you know absolutely nothing about but they did that and more. These guys are a four piece from California with guitar, bass, drums and keyboard. Even though they're from out west, they really remind me of a Southern rock band, their lead singer also reminded me a bit of Bruce Springsteen at times. They closed their set with the song "It's Gonna Be Alright" which also featured Matt Vazquez from Delta Spirit on backing vocals. Tremendous harmonies from the guys in the band and just a really tight group. As soon as I got home I looked them up and listened to some tracks online, but I don't think any of them do their live show justice.
Looks like they're headed out on a pretty extensive summer tour opening for Deer Tick. I can't wait until they come back to NYC in late July at the Bowery Ballroom. You've gotta check that tour out, it's going to be fantastic. You can check out their tour dates and listen to some tracks on their myspace page HERE. Also, I'd recommend listening to their Daytrotter session HERE........ especially the song "When My Time Comes".
I've heard a lot about these guys but never really got around listening to them until about a month ago when my buddy Todd emailed me after seeing their show in Rhode Island. I've listened to them quite a bit over the last few weeks and really dig their sound. Their lead singer has a real raspy voice but it definitely fits in perfectly with their music. They're a pretty traditional band with two guitars, bass (electric and stand-up) and drums, but they also kind of remind me of a southern band.
They played a high-energy set with some really cool songs including a great cover of Tom Petty's "Breakdown". One of my favorite songs of the night was actually sung primarily by guitarist Andrew Tobiassen with lead singer John McCauley on harmonica and backing vocals (unfortunately I don't know the title). Deer Tick closed their set with a raucous version of "La Bamba", including fans holding up about 20+ sparklers and a busted pinata showered into the crowd, talk about going out with a bang! Check out their tour dates and music HERE, especially "Baltimore Blues No.1".
I just saw Pela last week and wrote about that experience HERE so I don't have a ton more to add. They put on another solid, high intensity show and didn't disappoint. Take a listen to their music HERE, "Waiting on the Stairs" is a great tune.
TOKYO POLICE CLUB
I gotta admit that I didn't make it long enough to see these guys. I must be getting old (or maybe I was just tired) but it was after midnight and Pela was still on so I took off before TPC hit the stage. I did hear that they were good and it doesn't surprise me since I've seen them a couple times before (Coachella, Theater at MSG). Anyways, if you want to take a listen to their music, you can do that HERE, I really like the song "Nature of the Experiment".
All in all a real fun night at a great venue. Thanks to my buddy Richard for the invite and thanks to "Bowery Presents" for a fun night out with some real good bands.