Jeff Rosenstock played a sweaty 4-night run at Bowery Ballroom (night 4 review, setlist)
It wouldn't be completely unfair to call Jeff Rosenstock an unrivaled creative machine; over the past 13 months, he's been consistently cranking out solid material, whether it's his amazing, vital third solo LP POST- (which was one of our favorite records of 2018), a solid album with his side project Antarctigo Vespucci, or music for Cartoon Network's Craig of the Creek, and that's not even mentioning all the touring he's been doing recently. He and his band finally capped off many months of touring (for now) with a Brooklyn Vegan-presented sold-out, four-night run at NYC's Bowery Ballroom that ran from last Wednesday (2/6) through Saturday (2/9). We caught a few of the shows -- here's a review of the final night and stay tuned for more coverage.
As the entire band first walked on stage, Jeff took some time to address the crowd, as he pleaded with fans to prevent men from groping other female audience members, and to call for a peaceful, violence-free concert environment. "We can dance, just don't do any of that violent shit. If you're gonna do that, then you can get the fuck out of here." This all preceded the opening song of the night "USA," which immediately got the crowd up and moving, especially with the song's repeated "We're tired, we're bored" mantra. Jeff and the band filled the night with other mosh-ready highlights from POST-, including the frantic "Yr Throat," or the foot-stomping "All This Useless Energy." The setlist also contained tons of slightly older favorites, such as "Nausea," "Wave Goodnight to Me," "Bonus Oceans," and even the Craig of the Creek theme song, among others.
The highlight of the show, however, was towards the back half of the main set, where Jeff performed the entire side B medley from his 2016 record WORRY. The entire sweat-drenched audience seemed to know the lyrics to every track, the melody to every guitar riff, and they shouted along to every chorus during the entire medley. A bit later in the show, I overheard a fellow attendee near me tell their friend, "You never really know what songs mean to you until you've heard them live," and it's absolutely a true sentiment. In times where social progress seems to be regressing, and bigoted hatred seems to trump acceptance, hearing songs of defiant protest such as "Let Them Win," with an entire audience screaming the climactic line "We're not gonna let them win, fuck no!" provided a sense of hope and camaraderie among everyone in the room. The night ended with the one-two punch of "You, In Weird Cities" (which featured Jeff being cradled by the crowd while playing saxophone) and "We Begged 2 Explode," both of which managed to shatter many audience members' vocal cords (mine included).
The night began with a killer opening set from Jeff's former Bomb the Music Industry! bandmate Laura Stevenson, who opened the show with recent single "Living Room, NY," off her upcoming LP The Big Freeze. She performed the song in a sparse arrangement with a cellist, which was an unexpected change of pace, compared to the chaos that Jeff's main set would later bring. Laura brought out the rest of her band to perform some older material, including songs from 2015's Cocksure, such as the very infectious "Jellyfish," which closed out her set. Jeff brought Laura back onstage to perform backing vocals on a few of his tracks, notably including the midtempo "TV Stars." Laura will be going on tour behind her new record later this year, which includes a Brooklyn show at Rough Trade on May 24 (tickets).
Check out the full setlist and some videos from the final night of the run below, and stay tuned for photos and another review from earlier in the run.
Jeff used these four shows to record a live album, and we'll let you know once that gets announced too. Stay tuned!
Jeff Rosenstock @ Bowery Ballroom - 2/9/19 Setlist (via)
The Trash The Trash The Trash
Wave Goodnight To Me
I'm Serious, I'm Sorry
The Beauty of Breathing
All This Useless Energy
TV Stars (with Laura Stevenson)
Craig of the Creek
The Internet Is Everywhere.
Pietro, 60 Years Old
I Did Something Weird Last Night
Blast Damage Days (with Laura Stevenson)
Bang on the Door
...While You're Alive
Perfect Sound Whatever
Let Them Win
Bonus Oceans (By request)
Get Old Forever
9/10 (with Laura Stevenson)
You, in Weird Cities
We Begged 2 Explode