It was the first time I had ever seen a show at Rough Trade, NYC. Any lingering cynicism that I had about the current state and future of the vinyl medium was soon fizzled out as I encountered a warehouse sized room packed with hundreds of these discs. It was like sanctuary for those who still find joy in seeing the needle drop on the groove to produce beautiful sounds. Going towards the back of the room, I found the doors to the music hall.
The venue was dark with only a few tinted stage lights providing the illumination for the whole room. Soon, the show began with Little Racer opening up. For those not familiar with Little Racer, it’s a four piece group from Brooklyn who had five records for sale that night. They really got the audience warmed up with their light melodic guitars, thumping bass, a steady drum and playful lyrics. Listening to their set, you can really tell that the band has really harnessed their influences combining the atmosphere of new wave and surf rock. Throughout their show there were audience members just steadily taking in their music, some bobbing their heads just letting the chill vibes flow through them.
After Little Racer finished up, Sun Club soon followed bringing a more eclectic touch to the show. Out of the three groups that played, Sun Club was the one I was the most familiar with. I had been hooked on their music since I first heard them in June and I was excited to get to see them live. The five member band from Baltimore really picked up the energy in the room. At one point during their set, a few of the members on stage were swaying around with their instruments in a jubilant frenzy. All around, they were like the essence of some ecstatic tribal ritual concentrated into a powder and sparked to explode.
Finally, to end the night was Thumpers. I had given Thumpers a few listens before, yet I was still not entirely sure what was in store. Throughout the night there was a steady build-up as more and more people came to the show. There must have been a good reason for all them to gradually congregate at Rough Trade. The duo from London put on a fun concert full of bright danceable synth pop music. As the headlining band, and the last set, they were a good compliment to the previous bands. Thumpers’ performance was like a medium between the relaxed ambience of Little Racer and the sprightly display given by Sun Club. Overall, it was a kick-ass night with a well-chosen combination of bands and a hell of show to end my summer on.
Article by: Hayden Johnson