A holiday to some, just another day to others, Monday night was Shea Stadium’s 4/20 celebration. Crowd was thin, I assume as much for the weather and perhaps the “holiday.” Friend Roulette (who I had to correct myself more than once from calling “Chat Roulette”), greeting that rainy night was warmth. The static crowd gained a sudden pulse when the seven piece Brooklyn outfit entered, obviously there to see them.
Apocalyptic and off-setting, Friend Roulette didn’t let anyone get too comfortable. In fact, the only comfort I felt in their songs was the predictable discomfort. They could be the house band at the dive bar David Lynch frequents in his dreams. The violin scrambles the highest pitch on stage, eerie liked a haunted glockenspiel. Each song is filled with discordant breakdowns that fall into neon grooves of bass and string. Lead singer and violinist, Julia Tepper, is raspy and understated, the music is the focus, her voice but a minor instrument in the band.
Friend Roulette has a great vibe about them. They visibly enjoyed one another, often smiling at each other with respect and admiration. They stood shoulder to shoulder in solidarity – guitar, violin, EWI, bass. Behind twin percussionists –drum kit to kit, making an ocean with their sound. In waves, the cymbals rolled and crashed only to be broken with an eventual glitchy string freakout.
Tracks “Stoned Alone” and “Dutch Master” were a testament to the evening. You can find both on their upcoming sophomore release, I See You. Your Eyes Are Red. Albums drops June 2.
Article: Maria Bhim