In the pizza slice of a building that is Bushwick’s Market Hotel, a graffiti-emblazoned venue nestled just by the rush of the passing M-train, a good show was brewing – on a Tuesday night, no less. It seemed like all of Brooklyn’s rock/punk/grunge kids had crawled out of their daytime hiding places to gather there in the dusk, finding seating on the chilly window sills that lined the perimeter. They clinked drinks and talked music as they awaited JEFF the Brotherhood in the Bermuda Triangle-style pit, which placed all focus on the stage (located at its narrowest point), and was dark enough to really get lost in.
And as soon as the first opener, Stuyedeyed, poured out their heavy, psychedelic sound, getting lost was a real possibility. The Brooklyn locals took us on an early trip, guiding us through mind-bending progressions and supplying some real wisdom in between. “Don’t be a shit. Love each other. We’re all we got,” urged frontman Nelson Antonio Espinal. As if in response, everyone moved in closer.
With an opening set that could be mistaken for a headlining one, Music Band followed and were quick to wow the crowd. With vocals that ranged from cool oohs to vicious growls, frontman Harry Kagan brought that Nashville-bred grit to their pure rock-and-roll sound. Bandmates Lee Putney and Duncan Shea made for a strong rhythm section, supplying a thrashy beat that was hard not to move to. Music Band’s long, sizzling guitar solos seemed to coax in new fans right off the street, and Market Hotel quickly filled up as they played.
When it was finally time for headliner JEFF the Brotherhood, another fine Nashville act, the nocturnal crowd seemed wide awake and ready to start some trouble. Real-life brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall slouched into their positions, side-by-side, and slipped into a slow, sleazy intro, dishing out choppy riffs, snapping drums, and snarling vocals. It wasn’t long before they turned up the volume, and it quickly snowballed into a moshable set – to the thrill of their fans, of course, who were just waiting for a chance to smash into each other.
JTB’s set was packed with music from their new album, Zone, but not void of old favorites – like the no-fucks-given anthem, “Stay Up Late,” a perfect choice for the late-night show. And with such a pure-punk attitude, the biggest surprise came with their demeanor between songs. “This place is just our style. We’re very happy they could accommodate us,” said Jake politely as they made introductions. Turns out forming a moshpit and thanking the host is all part of that Southern hospitality – and continuing to rock was the kindest thing they could have done.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Dean Keim