Last Friday I couldn’t believe how many gnarly, drunk, middle-aged people were at the Bowery Ballroom to see Diamond Rugs – it was quite the change from when I was there a week or so earlier to see Magic Man, whose teenybopper fans would have been uneasy around the crowd this night. Bald-headed men with goatees pushed to the front of the stage like groupies and next to me were a group of intoxicated women, dressed in distressed denim and chains, dancing out of control. This was going to be an interesting night.
Opening the show was a curly, mop-top, Justin Collins, who creepily resembles some guy I went to college with. He brought out his best dance moves to go along with his sixties-esque folk/psychedelic rock sound. Athens, Georgia natives New Madrid, followed with some great hair flips (even the guy with the Afro!) all throughout their sick grunge/garage rock set.
“Ladies and gentlemen, life is like a box of chocolates!” screamed Ian St. Pé, as Diamond Rugs took the stage and rocked their song, “Voodoo Doll.” Diamond Rugs (the supergroup consisting of Deer Tick’s John McCauley & Robbie Crowell, former Black Lips guitarist Ian St. Pé, Dead Confederate’s T. Hardy Morris, Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin and Six Finger Satellite’s Bryan Dufresne) just embarked on their tour to promote their sophomore LP, Cosmetics.
Their set at Bowery was full of their party-rock songs from Cosmetics including “Couldn’t Help It,” “Blame,” and “Thunk.” They also jammed out to some oldies, “Blue Mountains,” “Gimme a Beer,” and “Country Mile.” Though all of these guys are from different music groups, they meld together with amazing chemistry and a sound that is carefully developed. I’m sure having five-time Grammy winner, Steve Berlin in the group didn’t hurt.
Justin Collins came back out during “Killing Time,” the last song before the encore, and he added the much-appreciated drunk-guy-of-the-party character to the stage. Collins stayed on for the encore and helped Diamond Rugs belt out “Big God” and “Totally Lonely,” (the latter he actually covered on his solo EP). By the end of the set, the room just felt like one big college party. It made me nostalgic and I think I fell in love with a new band.
Article by: Merissa Blitz