It’s been a while since I had been able to see some live music, and since I had a girl’s night planned with one of my favorite ladies who is also a fellow live-music-lover, we decided to head down to the east village and catch a show.
Autumn, babysittered up and primed for something new, has never been to Mercury Lounge and I wanted to give the legendary venue another shot after seeing Bear’s Den there several months before. So we headed to lower Manhattan, a little tipsy after some strong drinks at Tequila Park in the Hudson Hotel, ready for an adventure.
On this particular Monday night, there were three bands on the schedule and having missed the first one, we got there just in time for Brooklyn-based Dinosaur Feathers to start their set. The crowd was sparse – maybe only about 20 people in the room, but this was a plus. We felt like we were invited to a private show and even got to sit on the highly coveted red patent leather benches that are normally blanketed with people, bags and coats.
To quote Autumn, “Why aren’t these guys on the radio?” They were fantastic. For their third album, Control, this indie-rock band apparently looked to Janet Jackson for its inspiration. Not knowing that they were influenced by one of my favorite late 80’s female singers at the time of the show, I now know why I loved them so much. (Janet Jackson’s Control was the first cassette tape I bought with my own money.) They cooked up an album that perfectly blends the synthesizer sounds of the era of my youth and mashed it up with the pop lyrics, drum and guitar sounds of today’s musicians. YEESSSSS!! Lead singer, Greg Sullo, has a vocal range and energy on the stage that sets him apart from many of the singers we’ve seen thus far. A little bit Franz Ferdinand, a little bit Adam Levine and a little bit Jack White – all wrapped up into one, he was stellar. Backed by an equally talented trio of musicians, Sullo and his Dinosaur Feathers ended their short set with the best song of the night – “Zeitgeist.” Please go check them out immediately. You will not be disappointed.
Probably one of the most interesting and diverse-sounding bands I have come across, Galapagos Now was up next. Following a tough act, this trio consisting of bass & electric guitars and a drum set owned the stage in their own way. Throughout their performance, they varied their sound from sleepy songs like “Cut This One First” to heavier classic rock songs like “Two Stops.” Joe Dairy and Mark Gurarie share vocal responsibilities and their differing styles, sounds and performances can seem like they’re in two different bands, but it makes sense when you watch a full set. One of their last numbers, “Drug Song,” wasn’t my favorite song of the evening, but listening to it on their Bandcamp website changed my mind. Definitely worth doing some more research and seeing them again in a different venue.
Alicia’s Takeaway: I wasn’t expecting the night to end up with such great music. Between acts, we went up to Dinosaur Feathers and gushed over their music to the band members. They were extremely chill and gracious. Noticing that there weren’t many people in the room, they informed us that they were just starting out on their new tour and looked at this show as a rehearsal. Well, boys – you’re ready for your tour.
Side note: I fully realize that this show was over a month ago – but when you’ve been consumed with crazy Muppets and 45th anniversaries, you have to give a girl a break.