Concerts are back in NYC, with venues allowed to have indoor shows again as of April 2 with reduced capacity and social distancing measures in place. While some people may not be ready for indoor shows, restrictions or not, outdoor shows might be a different story. The New Colossus Festival tested those waters on Sunday (4/4) with a free outdoor show at 18th Ward Brewing in Williamsburg, with performances by The Natvral (Kip Berman from TPOBPAH), celebrating his debut album, as well as Charlotte Rose Benjamin and Jelly Kelly.

Taking place on the street outside the Brewery -- it's the same block of Debevoise St as Brooklyn Steel -- it was a pretty loose, informal event with people watching, spread out (and not so spread out) on the sidewalk and across the street, with artists playing stripped down sets on the sidewalk by 18th Ward's entrance. In the case of The Natvral, Kip played solo electric, fitting the Dylan/Petty vibe of his album, decked out in his Easter best in white denim that had been tie-dyed in pastel pinks and yellows.

On the other side of 18th Ward's entrance was a makeshift outdoor bar area with a few tables as well a cook grilling sausages and burgers. You could also go inside for drinks but most everyone was outside and masked, even those sitting tables.

This was the first live music I've seen since lockdown and you could tell that was the case for a lot of people there. The muscle memory for doing this thing we haven't done in over a year was there but you could feel the caution in the air. I recognized lots of people I knew under masks but there was as much waving hello from afar as there was actual catching up. Still, it was still nice to hear live music again. Check out pics from the afternoon below.

New Colossus says they plan on hosting more of these through the spring and summer, details still to be announced.

photos by Toby Tenenbaum

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