I’d rather be blind than to never be able to listen to music again. It’s such a huge part of people’s life, and I always find it fascinating how people tend to be a little reserved when asked to play their personal playlists. I am definitely one that believes music is intimate, and although I’m far from ashamed of my playlists, you’d be surprised on what’s not there.
I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t been to many concerts while living here. Almost all artists pass by New York City at some point, and still I can’t get myself to go to the large venues to hear them belt out tunes that few people can mimic. It may be because I feel unattached to the music, as well as not being attracted to going to a massive venue…with seats!
Last year, I stumbled upon a band on some list of “Brooklyn bands to follow”, and I completely fell in love with the music. Although the NY Post describes it as “an icy, distilled R&B sound that falls between The Weeknd and Drake”, I’d say it’s an ambiguous genre between Indie and Alternative Rock (now you choose who’s right) – also known as hipster show tunes. Easy and Victim were two songs that hit me in places I haven’t been hit before (hit me baby one more time), and despite my excessive knowledge seeking personality, I decided not to read too much into this band.
A few months after yearning for more songs, they started coming, where I got obsessed with Stranger and Centerfold. It was at this point I decided to turn to Youtube and check these guys out. Turns out the vocals belonged to… Penn Badgley?
So Friday night, while most people were binge watching the highly criticized Fuller House, Mari and I were in Brooklyn to see what these guys can pull off live. The band consists of bassist-producer Jimmy Giannopoulos, guitarist Simon Oscroft and keyboardist Darren Will, along with Penn Badgley on vocals and guitar. This concert also marked the release of their album, Centerfold, which is completely amazeballs.
Along with being excited about the concert, I was curious about the crowd. The few people I know that are aware of the band have on some point been obsessed with Penn Badgley and/or Gossip Girl. Baby’s All Right, a bar/restaurant/concert venue, had a 16 year age limit, which made me think that most of the attendees would be girls in their early twenties stuck in their teenage years. And I was not disappointed.
Here’s to the couple of handful people that were there for the actual music – as the band exceeded all expectations. It was the first time they played the song She Can’t Tell at a show, and they had a surprised look on their face when a large chunk of the people sang along. Talk about projecting joy. If you’re into music that’s difficult to pinpoint, has amazing sounds, unexpected sax solos and deep dark voices – this is a band for you.