On Thurs., Jan. 16, Grand Cousin opened for Pianos’ January house band, the Rooks.
The charged crowd gathered together at the Lower East Side venue. The audience included friends and family members of the two college bands, professional camera men, and of course the regulars of the Lower East Side music scene.
By the end of the Rooks’ set, the crowd was glued to the platform stage and yelling for an encore performance.
The good vibes first began, however, with Grand Cousin. The three-piece band inserted elements of ska, hard rock-driven guitar and funky rhythms into their alternative and indie rock tunes. Grand Cousin’s crowd favorites—the sly, playful “Take Me Out” and the brooding “Let Me Know”—rested on the band’s performance, which mixed ease with genuine frustration.
Vocalist and guitarist Henry Hall created contemplative moments with his vocal prowess: he wailed during the bridge of “Let Me Know” and effectively channeled Marvin Gaye during the band’s closing performance of “Let’s Get It On.” Bassist Robby Caplan and drummer Evan Low extended the lyrical tension during the edgy rock song “Comfortable and Relaxed.”
After wrapping up the set, the band hopped off stage and joined their friends on the floor. The Rooks then picked up on the Grand Cousin’s momentum.
Lead vocalist Garth Taylor incited the crowd’s sounds before the band opened with “You’re the One.” The Rooks, like Grand Cousin, crafted different layers with a solid, soul-funk foundation.
The six-piece band explored different genres. They used Graham Richman’s excellent instinct on guitar to venture into traditional rock and roll; the group also delved into pop R&B with a cover of Destiny Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills.” The powerful rhythm section—structured by drummer Nate Mondschein and bassist Louis Russo—extended by the additional support of keyboardist Gabe Gordon and saxophonist Spencer Hattendorf.
The best moments of the band’s Thursday night performance were improvisatory. At one moment, Taylor and Hattendorf created a dialogue with voice and saxophone; Gordon created suspense when he played a riff on his keyboard without the backing band. The Rooks also teased the audience with a new single, “Twister,” and closed the show with their 2012 funk-soul single, “Nothing Wrong.”
The Rooks could not extend their hour-long set. Their Pianos residency ends Thursday Jan. 30th, However this show is currently sold out. If you want to catch the Rooks this Thursday Jan 23rd a few tickets are still available which can be purchased here:
Article by Pam Segura
Photos by Shayne Hanley