Gathering in the hallowed halls of Irving Plaza, troops of New Yorkers, sought sanctuary from the unusual heat to watch former bassist for Weezer, Matt Sharp, slam out tunes with, The Rentals.
Being a New York virgin, making roots in the music scene was one of my first instincts to gather an understanding of the Big Apple.
Saturated in red and blue lights, the crowd eagerly waited, under the rocky horror-esque chandeliered ballroom, grasping cold beers and brown spirits, perfuming the air with that ever so sweet smell of whiskey and hops.
Given the chance, post Polish Army haunt, Irving Plaza, took a page out of the UN and made peace with the Russians for the night, introducing, Missouri group, Someone still loves you Boris Yeltsin, as the opener.
Stepping away from their former style of melancholy and despair, an introduction into sunnier melodies and a full embrace of dangerous optimism came resounding off stage.
Combining a funk pop sound with dirty melodies, the group geared the crowd for bands to come.
Met with classic Motown hits between breaks, spontaneous dancing and karaoke sessions I was among my people, only to be broken by sound check and an ethereal light show giving way to Mates of State.
With religious resonance and an 80s glam rock vibe, the American indie pop group, lured the audience in with synthesized organs and harmonized duets, taking us all on a trip outside the bounds of Earth and ripping us back to reality with solid chorus lines and a beat that couldn’t be shook no matter how resistant you were to dance.
Finally, the moment we’d been waiting for, a shift in emotion and a light buzz turning into a roaring chant for The Rentals to arrive on stage.
Lights lowering…crowd silencing, the band made its way onto the stage.
As the screen lifted, Matt Sharp appeared alongside, Ryen Slegr from Ozma, Keith Murray from We Are Scientists, Adele Terese “the coolest fucking member of the group,” who was also celebrating a birthday, “and the most adorable man in rock ‘n’ roll,” Shawn (Glassford) from Star F–ker.
Marching the audience into Traces of Our Tears, gave way to a cataclysmic explosion of audience approval and was closely followed by Thought of Sound, These Days, Please Let That Be You, just to name a few.
Stepping into the shoes of lead singer and front man for the group, together we gave homage to the Barcelona Football team, with Barcelona.
Clinging to the teams flag, in a maternialistic embrace, even the sport illiterate grew to love the passion exuding from the performance.
Breaking the fourth wall, Sharp addressed us like an old friend, going on to say, “I hope they’re ready for this. Are you ready for this, goddammit?”
Synchronized we responded with, “Whoooooo!”
Sharp laughed, making fun of us, “You don’t even know what the fucking hell it is yet, how can you be ready for it?! Well are you ready to leave?”
And with a resounding “No!” from the crowd, introduced Big Daddy C, the quintessential New York track, about “being with a bunch of Brits doing cocaine in Soho.”
Kicking it old school, the group went on to do a mashup of Friends of P. and Ghostbusters, letting New York and the band take its final bow with sharp jumping into the pool of fans below, gathering them around him, encouraging to admit that, “Bustin’ make us feel good.”
Resulting in a disco birthday dance party for Adele, a string of birthday chants, among swirling disco lights and a now ferociously dancing crowd saw the end of the night.
With great energy throughout all the performances and live sound and lighting translating with exceptional ease, it was definitely a great introduction to the beating heart of New York City and the shows to come.
Article by: Aneeta Bhole
Pictures by: Shayne Hanley