photos by David Andrako; words by Bill Pearis
The Men @ Bowery Ballroom
Beginning with an extended drone, The Men banged out one note with a noticeable nervous tension. All that revving of engines finally erupted in "Electric" off the band's New Moon which was released this week. The crowd went mental in turn with flying beers and bodies. Followed by burner "Without a Face," The Men kept the energy on high. And then, like on much of the new LP, they morphed into Crazy Horse mode with big, crunchy jams. While jarring, it works better live than on record. "I Saw Her Face" sounds absolutely huge at Bowery and that sense of grandiosity doesn't come across on New Moon. I still prefer the band in Punk mode, but, like Montreal's Besnard Lakes, they understand the power of dynamics and scale. Maybe Jace Lasek should produce their next record?
Last night's sold-out Bowery Ballroom show (3/7) was an all-around solid-as-a-rock bill. Openers Parquet Courts had the place packed from the start. "We haven't played a show in Manhattan since getting kicked out of Cake Shop," joked Andrew Savage who, along with the rest of the band, hopped on a plane this morning to Mexico City where they play tonight. (They play Festival Nrml in Monterrey, Mexico, on Saturday [3/9]). Their set got off to a rough start but soon course-corrected with a succession of their short, sharp cuts off Light Up Gold.
Brooklyn's Nude Beach held the undercard slot and knocked out catchy tune after catchy tune. Not only do they look like they could be from Minneapolis in 1984 (snapshirts, flannel and denim), they sound like it too: anthemic, punky powerpop, all hooks and no B.S. Quality stuff. For those not heading to Austin next week for you-know-what, Nude Beach are playing Union Pool on March 13 with Call of the Wild, Tweens and What Next?
More pictures from last night's Bowery show below...