While walking down Meadow Street during the daytime, one would think that the D.I.Y. venue known as Shea Stadium was merely a door, and nothing more. Although this is true, walking past this door at night is a completely different experience — all along Meadow Street, the sound of glorious guitar riffs and crashing cymbals can be heard. In this case, the ruckus coming from the other side of that door was that of Boston-based rock band Vundabar.
WEDNESDAY 05/11/16 — BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
Having seen Vundabar once before, I already knew what was in store for the night—nothing short of a euphoric experience. After all, their name means “wonderful” in German. After openers Winstons and Bethlehem Steel finished their sets, my friends and I congregated on Shea’s balcony to smoke a cigarette or two and wait for band to set up. As it got closer and closer to showtime, the venue filled up and excitement was in the air. Just like I predicted, Vundabar did not disappoint. The group dropped their sophomore album Gawk last summer, so there were plenty of bangers for the crowd to sing along to.
The fun-loving and playful vibe that the group brought to Shea that night was unforgettable. Lead-vocalist (and, apparently, comedian) Brandon Hagen danced around the stage for the entire set, going in and out of falsetto. What makes Vundabar so interesting is that their lyrics completely contradict their sound. While the crowd rocked out to the cheerful-sounding “Chop,” the boys bellowed the lyrics—“I will try to find a one to cut me up like you do.” There were smiles all around that night, especially when the first notes of “Holy Toledo,” off of the band’s first record Antics, were strummed. If every single person at Shea wasn’t sweating before the jam was played, they were now.
Vundabar’s set left the entire crowd chanting, “One more song!” My friends and I waited around for a bit, but when it became clear that the show was over, we made our way to the exit. As we walked down the stairs of the venue, we made sure to stop and admire the “Bad Dad” graffiti on the wall in front of us—as we always do. I was relieved to step outside and take a breath of fresh air, but my ears were still ringing. However, this was a small price to pay for the amusing show that had just occurred. Holy toledo, what songs do you know?