For my first visit to Mercury Lounge in over two years (!), I caught a nice double dose of local indie rock goodness – Groupie followed by Cafuné. These two bands played the early show at the venue, which suited this old lady just fine, especially since it meant I could grab a hot pastrami sandwich for dinner afterwards at Katz’s Delicatessen a block away.
Groupie, who our editor-in-chief Kate saw last week at 18th Ward in Williamsburg, played just their second set of the pandemic. Founding member and lead vocalist Ashley Kossakowski on bass led the way, with Aaron Silberstein on drums, and newer members Devin McKnight (whose solo project Maneka I photographed a few weeks ago) on lead guitar and Theadora Curtis on rhythm guitar and backing vocals. They ripped through a quick set of songs from Groupie’s latest album, the great-sounding Ephemeral, which came out earlier this year. I especially liked the track “Daleko,” which was written in Polish and a nod to Kossakowski’s parents’ immigrant roots.
Next up was Cafuné, who celebrated the release of their debut album, Running, which was released just over a month ago. The band is the project of Sedona Schat (vocals/guitar) and Noah Yoo (lead guitar), and last night they were accompanied by Johnny Shankman on bass and David James on drums. While Running might technically be the group’s first album, and last night was their first show in 17 months, the crowd was amped up for Cafuné’s music. The setlist focused largely on the new songs, but the band snuck in a few older favorites – “Little Broken” and the closer, “Friction.”
It was great to be back at Mercury Lounge, seeing some good live music once again. Incredibly, my phone remembered the Wifi password and connected without a hitch. It felt like coming home.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Ellen Qbertplaya)