Sometimes the most rewarding part of a live concert is the opening act. Last night at the Bowery I had such an experience. It had been 10 years since I last visited the intimate venue. It will not be another 10. Caveman was the 1st of 2 opening acts. Side note: doors opened at 8, first band at 9, White Rabbits took the stage at 11:10. After the booze filled events from Friday night, i was more than happy to refrain from the drink. I actually played the role of responsible adult. Shocking, i know. But let the record show I felt like an old man when I saw the schedule of events. Kept thinking of how nice my recliner would have felt about 11pm. Might have thought of babysitter monies adding up too.
Needless to say once I got upstairs to see Caveman, i was only thinking about the music. Mixing a high energy sound of Afro beats, loud guitar and terrific tribal vocals, this young Brooklyn group captured my attention. During their final number their improv jam built to maybe the loudest crescendo I have ever heard live. They were having fun. They were energized. And I am now a fan. They feature at the Bowery on April 14th, and i feel i need to be there.
Arms was the second band up. Another NYC band, they were fair at best. I thought of them as some amalgam of Radiohead/Ben Folds. Neatly attired and well meaning, the quartet had talent and produced some good moments. But overall they were more a one trick pony than anything. One song resembled the next and their energies were perhaps too soft coming after the fire Caveman discovered.
Which brings us to White Rabbits. I will be the first to admit I knew only "Percussion Gun" before I saw them last night. These young New Yorkers pack a nice wallop. Fronted by Stephen Patterson (vocals/piano) and Alex Even (guitar/vocals) each song presents well crafted musicianship. The key to all of it might just be percussionist/Everyman Matt Clark. Mr. Clark demonically pound away on bass drums or tambourines and seems to be channeling the music through his eyes. Equally parts punk and rock, White Rabbits can dominate a room. And last night they did. This is a band dominated by it's rhythm section. It's bassist is a slim downed Michael Musto lookalike. Each component is sleek and well rehearsed. For the few times they spun into jazz like riffs the message was clear. These guys have been doing it a while and remain a tight unit. I fail to know songs from the playlist... Damn you Shazam for not being able to capture live music!!! I was a bit miffed they only played for an hour. I was getting my second wind. Also, very troubling that once again the mrs was a magnet for obnoxious concert goer. This time a 6'6" skinny white boy jumped incessantly on and around us. Now, I don't want to curb his sheer joy. But, when you are that fucking tall... Stay on the ground. He kept bumping into this older pedophile looking guy. You know the type... Closely cut hair, hoop earring, updating status and taking pics incessantly. And he was alone too and i think welcoming the contact. Icky.
Long story longer, the show was fun and I would see them again. The National and Silversun Pickups were more polished if I had to compare recent, more similar bands. The potential is there for them. After all they are like, teenagers or something.
Got some nice weather for a change today. Totally unmotivated though. Two straight nights out until 2 or so. Oscars coming up tonight. Always has been one of my favorite nights. And I'm comfortable enough in my sexuality to say I will be watching the 3 hours of red carpet bullshit too. I need to hear the innane questions Billy Bush has to ask. I want to see Natalie Portman's dress choice given her pregnancy. We got into a heated discussion with friends last night about whether or not you are gay if you like Maroon 5 or, in my case Lady Antebellum. Probably an indicator was the verdict. I am still of the opinion only gay sex makes you gay. Ok, and men who wear skinny jeans, or capris, or drive Miatas, or work in fashion retail, or carry lip balm, or tri-fold wallets, or wear pleats, double breasted blazers, loves tofu, and read Men's Health, or this blog.