When we are invited to hang out with bands, it’s an easy yes. It’s not often you learn how a band works within itself, how the machine works and if there’s any creaky parts. In getting to know the gentleman of East Love, we learned that they are a tight group of guys that grew up together and it showed onstage with their ridiculously tight live set.
Like most bands, the guys of East Love just want to play music. Unlike many other bands, they have a definitive plan to juggle their day jobs while they pursue the dream of playing gigs full time. With East Love, there is a coordinated effort to include everyone in the decision making process, and with six members chiming in, can be a challenge, but they seem to tackle it with ease as they are friends first.
Arriving to the empty Brooklyn Bowl in the afternoon before their show, the guys were generous with their time and thoughts, making my job of getting some photos and quotes quite effortless. In between bowling some frames, a pre-show meal and quiet time backstage, I learned that the group on the whole, are really good humans that just want to play for their fans.
Every band is different when preparing for a show – some drink vodka straight out of the bottle – others may play games or fool around. In this case, the group split into different sections while getting ready. Some drank tea to sooth their throats, while others quietly sat in the corner with their instrument, playing the same chords over and over as their life depended on it. Comedic relief was in the form of guitarist, Alex Utay, and his vocal warmups to with what seemed like an Opera score.
About 30-minutes before their set, a noticeable excitement started to form in the green room and the guys started to show some nerves as they looked upon the nearly full venue from the balcony. They would tell me the story of their friend, Jonny Kessner who passed away, how his energy and spirit lives inside each of them. They would go on to tell me that the Brooklyn Bowl holds a special place in their hearts and have fond memories of seeing shows with their late friend there, and then honored him before and during the show.
When the time came to take the stage, the guys formed a circle and embraced one another, each member took turns saying something that had depth and positivity. Smiles emerged from everyone, the excitement was palpable as they ran down the stairs to play their biggest headlining gig to date.
Article: Shayne Hanley