PWR BTTM played at The Lyft Stage during Williamsburg Walks on Saturday afternoon. The queer garage punk duo of Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce (who at times play with a third) are known for their ability to swap roles as singers, guitarists and drummers and their wild performances. Hopkins, in mock housewife drag and smears of dark makeup, shouted glam power ballads and gave tongue-in-cheek anecdotes in between songs. The group came together at Bard College in upstate New York and will be playing The Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk on August 27th.
The Felice Brothers at McCarren Park
The Felice Brothers played the first slot at McCarren Park. Named for the two Felice brothers Ian (guitar) and James (accordion and keys) who primarily handle the vocals, the five-piece resembles more of a family than a band. They banter with one another, throw mocking jabs and have a relaxed style that only comes when surrounded by your closest friends. They played songs off of their album Favorite Waitress and many in the crowd had a hop jig going on during the folk rock set.
Conor Oberst at McCarren Park
The talented singer/songwriter Conor Oberst followed The Felice Brothers with the perfect set to carry you into your weekend. Oberst performs with ease and nonchalance- even when playing the brooding or stomping tracks. He played a few Bright Eyes songs (“Four Winds,” “Train Under Water,” and “First Day of My Life”) and did two cover songs- one with The Felice Brothers (“Rockefeller Druglaw Blues”) and one with Kacey Musgraves (“Back on the Map”). Oberst played a dark and somber new song called “You Loved Him Once.” The crowd could hear the sorrow in his wavering vocals and intermittent use of the harmonica as he spoke about Jesus.
Kacey Musgraves at McCarren Park
Kacey Musgaves gained an even greater following after appearing on the fifth season of Nashville Star in 2007. I have to admit I don’t generally care for country music. But after watching Musgraves in McCarren Park I realized that a few things set her apart from many of her counterparts in the country genre. She is honest, authentic and continues to sing about real issues in society like safe sex and homosexuality acceptance, despite being labeled as controversial. Musgraves also has a good sense of humor- poking fun at the band for not having played in a month and her cowboy boots. Her most recent album release was Pageant Material and is currently working on a Christmas album.
King Khan and The Shrines
The costumed and over-the-top King Khan, backed by his strong horn and rhythm sections, known as The Shrines, brought the psychedelic rock antics to Brooklyn Bowl. The Shrines entered first to prepare the stage for the King. After a loud and robust trumpet and saxophone introduction the King strolled out in a white Elvis-like suit complete with blue glittered lapels. They played classics off the 2013 album, Idle No More, and introduced a new hit “I Wanna Be a Girl,” noting the Orlando tragedy and that in many cultures transsexuals are worshipped. The groove and energy of the group, combined with Khan’s three costume changes (one into a black spandex-fur ensemble), made this performance the most elaborate show of the Northside Festival.
Article: Alx Bear