WHEN THE LIGHTS GO DOWN
The Bowery Ballroom was always my Statue of Liberty- the quintessential New York fixture that I, while born and bred in Brooklyn, acknowledged in passing but never actually made a point of visiting. Last Friday, though, I had the enormous pleasure of seeing three different bands there, with the opening acts complementing the headliner so as to form a collective final picture of what new music is all about. For a venue with a reputation like the Bowery’s, the atmosphere at the sold out ballroom was as laid- back as any converted dive in Bushwick on a Friday night. Past the bar and waiting area, a staircase takes you to the second floor, which opens up to a spacious standing area, complete with balconies if you want to enjoy the show at a table. It’s sexy, intimate, and subtly regal, upholding and validating the notion that the space is just as important as the music.
FRIDAY 06/10/16 – NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The first group up, Petal, took the stage with a refreshing punctuality and vocalist Kiley Lotz introduced the act as something she does “with her friends.” (While Kiley is a permanent member, her bandmates alternate on a changing basis). And the performance felt just as she described it- the band’s chemistry ran like it does between people who genuinely enjoy each other and what each individual brings to the table. The set was interspersed with slower songs featuring Kiley solo with her Beyonce t-shirt and guitar, among longer tracks charged with volume and spontaneous bursts of power. Petal’s unorthodox structuring as well as the way they present themselves live started off a night of high spirits and an even higher spike in energy levels.