Three rad bands played a sold out show to a full house of teenagers and young adults alike on Tuesday night. The November 25th show at Irving Plaza packed a punch of energy from the fans and musicians alike. There were also some great covers of songs by the Beastie Boys and Tupac throughout the night.
Los Angeles natives, Somekindawonderful, opened up this sold out soiree with the thought provoking “Police.” Socially conscious lyrics could be heard throughout their set, and the sentiment of the band could be seen as they identified with the words they sang.
In the middle of their set, lead vocalist Jordy Towers mentioned his hometown of LA and his love for fellow Californian Tupac. He stated that he had love for Biggie as well, being in front of a New York crowd, and subsequently covered Tupac’s “California Love.” While the song may have been lost on many of the young, mostly female teenage fans, I loved every second of it.
Whether or not the audience knew the words or the song itself, the crowd had their hands up in the air, swaying back and forth to mimic the movements of the band members. They also played “Reverse,” one of the first songs the band wrote together, which tells a story in reverse. Very clever, Somekindawonderful. Vocalist and percussionist Sarah Dryer steals the show with her unique personal style and carefully calculated moves. Each bang on a drum or move of her mallets brought a sense of spirituality into the performance. It was clear that each band member brought his or her own style to the show. They closed out their set with “Devilish Man” and the audience was surely sad to see Somekindawonderful go.
California love was definitely in the house when another Los Angeles based band, Bad Suns, hit the stage. They got the crowd going with their smooth, yet edgy sound. On vocals and guitar, Christo Bowman moved with the music around the stage, his emotion seen so easily in each facial expression he made.
The dark stage lighting perfectly complimented the disposition of bassist Gavin Bennett and guitarist Ray Libby as they lined the front of the stage. Dressed in all black, with the exception of drummer Miles Morris, Bad Suns played to a crowd of smiling, singing fans. Their catchy hooks and upbeat rhythms had fans bopping their heads in unison.
“Cardiac Arrest”, the first single off their debut album Language & Perspective, was among the songs played. Others were “We Move Like the Ocean,” and “Salt,” which closed out the set. Before entering the venue, many people in line were buzzing about Bad Suns, and I got the sense that a lot of people had come to see them. That says a lot about the attention they’re garnering since they weren’t actually headlining the night. After listening to them play and watching the crowd’s reaction, I can see why so many traveled to see them live. You can check out Bad Suns album Language & Perspective here.
Originally from Denmark, vocalist David Boyd and guitarist, vocalist and keyboardist Soren Hansen moved to Brooklyn shortly after starting their band New Politics. There, they found Long Island native, Louis Vecchio, who now plays drums in the band. These newfound Brooklynites were glad to be playing to a sold out New York crowd.
The first time I saw New Politics, they opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Barclays Center. My eyes were glued to the stage and when I got home, I was inclined to download all of their catchy, sing-along music. Whether playing to a sold out crowd at a venue as big as Barclays or a sold out crowd at the much smaller Irving Plaza, their high-energy stage presence remained the same.
Boyd’s eccentric, non-stop dance moves make for an exciting show. This includes break-dancing and balancing on his head, which is a signature move he’s coined as “boyding.” Hansen adds to the show when he tosses his guitar as high as he can into the air and catches it. Behind his drum set, Vecchio often stands up and signals to the crowd, keeping himself visible and engaged with fans. New Politics plays pop music with a punk influence. They played some of their faster songs like “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” and “We are the Radio” along with ballad, “Stuck on You.” For an encore, fans screamed and danced to the newest single, “Everywhere I Go (Kings & Queens).” The band also snuck in a cover of “Sabotage” by fellow Brooklyn group, the Beastie Boys, and played a musical mash-up of hit songs like “Baby Got Back,” “Turn Down for What,” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
After the show, I spoke to a man working at the venue, and he claimed that what he had just witnessed was the best show he’d ever seen there purely because of the energy New Politics emitted. Amen to that! The non-stop movement of New Politics on stage and their ability to play catchy pop music with a punk rock feel and attitude create a show that you just can’t take your eyes off of!
Article by: Ashley Rodriguez