Bar / LES / Live Music

Solander, AM to AM & Chantal Claret; Pianos

At this point in our Crushing Vinyl adventure, we had been separated for a couple of weeks, but continued to catch great live music while we were apart.  When we were finally both together in NYC, we were so excited to try a new venue (and even more excited to catch up with each other)!  This time our obsession took us to Piano’s on the Lower East Side for a night of three different one-hour shows.  It’s the first time that either of us had been to an event of this sort and it’s clear that Piano’s knows what they are doing.

First of all, Piano’s as a venue is great!  While the floor plan is similar to Mercury Lounge (which we didn’t enjoy during Bear’s Den), for some reason it felt better this time around.  The restaurant/bar is in the front.  It’s a good size for having an early dinner or catching a happy-hour while the back room, where the bands play, is a little bit on the small side.  But it felt perfect.  It’s just the right size to feel like the bands are singing directly to you.  And so our night began…


This was Solandar’s inaugural show in NYC and they were the first act to play that night at 7pm.  The Swedish band was incredibly charming and funny and even thanked us for being the first ‘15’ people in the city to see them play.  Rachel got a shout out from the lead singer for having ‘cool’ hair while he was in the middle of a story about a friend that was injured by a bird.  (Hear that story in the song “Huckleberry Finn.”) Solander is a group of very talented musicians, and it’s nice to see someone relax and just concentrate on perfecting one instrument at a time rather than playing four.  The band also has an electric cello which adds a calm sadness to some of their songs.  We loved the cool quietness with which they played and would absolutely recommend any future show! Check out “The Woods Are Gone.”  (They even gave us our first gift of vinyl!)

AM to AM

So, is Christian Siriano in a band?  Because the lead singer of AM to AM looks just like him – and that’s not a bad thing!  Starting on time (surprise!!) at 8pm, this band was like a shot of adrenaline.  They immediately started rocking out with a nonstop beat that demanded your attention.  AM to AM played all original music that sounded a little bit like a hard rock/punked out version of Avril Lavigne – again, this isn’t a bad thing!  Once again, we found ourselves n love with another drummer.  Drummers are definitely becoming our thing. Check ’em out.


Chantal Claret

Chantal is probably Alicia’s favorite act to date.  Her high energy Tina Turner-esque performance at Piano’s was accompanied by two lovely backup singers and a drummer.  That’s it.  The sound they produced felt like there were 30 people on the stage.  As she makes her way through her EP, you begin to understand that she is a big bold singer, with an even bigger bolder stage presence.  Her sound varies from song to song; and she evokes other bands and singers like ABBA, Tina Turner, The Ting Tings, The Supremes and Adele.  Our favorite songs were “Real Girls,” and “Light it Up.”  Entering from the crowd, which was hard not to do at this venue, she commanded the attention of everyone in the room.  At one point, she came back through the crowd to sing a song about her dad, while standing on the bar top!  (Her friend also proposed to his girlfriend during her set–another treat!)  Go see her IMMEDIATELY.

Alicia’s Takeaway: After leaving Piano’s we felt like we won the musical lottery.  Great venue, great vive and GREAT bands! Solander was the nicest band, they hung around and talked with their fans.

RCS Takeway: Thinking about using this venue for my birthday party…it’s literally everything I’ve dreamed of—intimate setting, live music and a bar. It’s the cutest spot and such a great way to see a revolving door of fantastic music! Also, Solander stole my ❤

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