The Books / Jose Gonzalez / Death Vessel @ Bowery Ballroom
David N sent in this review: Last night (Friday March 24, 2006) I had the privilege of seeing The Books at the bowery. First and foremost, I have to say I think the Bowery Ballroom is one of the finest venues in new york city. Small and intimate, the main floor is about the size of a really big shed. The downstairs lounge is just big enough to feel comfortable, but at the same time small enough to remember every face that walked by. DEATH VESSEL opened the night, and while I didn’t catch all of their set – I was strangely drawn to what I thought was the female lead singers original voice. Turns out it was a male, so hopefully you understand how interesting this voice really was.
After they played for a bit, the little shed became packed as JOSE GONZALEZ took the stage and completely ripped. Accompanied by his guitar and a little wooden chair, his lyrics penetrated. He played Crosses among many others, and even came out for an encore which I found surprising for a supporting act. If you haven’t had the chance to hear Jose Gonzalez, you should really do yourself the favor.
His performance was solid, but it was THE BOOKS that completely killed. They took the stage to a packed crowd, and weaved between songs with a fluidity I hadn’t seen in a while. All of their songs were supported by edited video footage they had collected from salvation army’s during their travels across the US. It was appropriately projected behind them, and was relevant to the songs they were playing. Talk about story telling driven by aural and visual stimulation… I also got lucky with the crowd. They were really into it, laughing when supposed to, shouting compliments, and just all out appreciating what we all came to see…the reason why we bought our tickets months in advance. THE BOOKS show was probably one of the best of my life, and without a doubt set the standard for 2006.