I had underestimated the appeal of a free show with free Bass beer from eight to nine, fixated as I was to see Parts and Labor again since their Asterisk house party two years ago. The line in front of the Knitting Factory told it all, I immediately canceled my friends, don’t come, don’t bother, only the first two hundred get in, and I think I am number two hundred and two. Luckily, I felt lucky, and I got in before the show started.
Around nine Stay High from Brooklyn started playing. Two kids with a mixing board and a laptop that chew out old school electronics with a total lack of charisma or at least without the appearance that they enjoy performing in front of a crowd. I have trouble understanding the desire of people to perform who not even once seek to interact with the crowd of spectators. I can only recommend to anyone who does not feel born to be a star, don’t get on stage. The music was mediocre and not once comes close to being interesting. It was terribly boring to listen to Stay High, and the free show-free beer crowd had swelled to a peak presence. Around nine thirty, the word got out that the free Bass was gone. A relief and the gratuitous half of the visitors left within ten minutes.
But, as Parts and Labor, P&L set themselves and the room breathes a space of normality, where ordering a paid beer costs no bothersome effort, I get excited again. P&L is definitely one of my (many) favorite New York bands, they give a good show full of spirit, they have a sense for aesthetics, they think of themselves as icons. I know their songs, so when they started playing, I understand the sound, the atmosphere and the spirit of the moment without hesitation. They are not totally uplifted, the sound in the space is not created for them, and perhaps they themselves are somewhat bothered by it. It is hard not to get affected, although one should never care when playing from the heart. But performances after a while carry a routine and one becomes perceptive to imperfections. But P&L still carry the room, especially the bass player, being a bass player myself, involuntarily I generate more affection for bands with a good bass sound, and P&L is blessed. I am on steam.
I had not heard of An Albatros to be honest. I spoke briefly to the guy from An Albatros who organized the night, mainly because his (cute) girl started talking to me. I asked him why he bothered attracting the gratuitous mass of spectators, to which he naively and ad rem replied ‘why not?’ and one has to like this about An Albatros, cause they are all about ‘why not?’ and they proof what you can achieve with such enigma, they show the height they go to on such attitude. To be honest, they blasted their sound into the low space at the Knitting Factory, a venue that is narrow minded in allowing the energy of crowd and band flow freely, I have experienced this more than once. Within no time, they pull in the crowd, they dive in the crowd, the fly over the crowd. To witness the movement they bring into space is to not believe, without doubt the most energetic live show of the year!
Everything that can go, goes. Bass drum floats over, while the silver pants of the vocals dive beneath you in a pumping, pounding pit, literally crawling back over the ceiling. If you can, be a witness to An Albatros!