I’ve found myself on the rooftop of OWL a lot lately and I tell ya, its a good place to be. I was originally supposed to work on this night, but the venue I work at has had some cancelations recently (due to concerns about you know what), so I figured why not take the opportunity to head out for some fun on an unexpected free night? There were a few shows going on, but I knew Gal Fieri was playing and I loved their set the last time I saw them so it made it an easy choice where I was going to go.
They opened the show but unfortunately had to play a bit of a shorter set this time since they started a little late and the venue has a curfew for the rooftop; they seemed to be just hitting their stride when they ended. I was bummed they didn’t play longer, but they brought the big riff energy to the set regardless of length and really have a fun stage presence that makes is so easy to immediately get into their music. They are hitting the ground running and have several shows coming up (check their Instagram at the link above for dates), so I’ll have another chance soon to catch them. They have not recorded yet and from what their bassist Laura Toth told me, they are still getting their bearings as a brand new band but hope to do so in the future. I very much hope for this too!
I at first I thought I was unfamiliar with The Senior Year, but soon realized that while I apparently missed the memo on this group, I did know who most of them were outside of the project. They share two members with Mean Siders, lead guitarist Katie Ortiz and drummer Shannon Minor. I had seen Mean Siders play a few times before and while Ortiz fronts that band and plays rhythm guitar, in The Senior Year she does not sing at all and is on lead guitar; It was very cool to see her in this other role along with more of her guitar skills on display. The band also shares members with Sorry Darling, who all have different roles in that band to what they have in The Senior Year as well (singer Tasha Jokic is the drummer of Sorry Darling, rhythm guitarist Liz Wagner Biro is the bassist of Sorry Darling). I have not seen Sorry Darling in person but have seen videos so I was familiar with them and I love to see multi talented folks and them showing off different skill sets so this was very fun.
They describe themselves as “Brooklyn based British indie pop,” and I think that is an extremely good description, as I definitely heard notes of the classic C86 sound. And with a singer from the UK…it is bound to find its way in there, would be a crime not to really! There were also notes of country and even some Americana twang, particularly from Ortiz’s guitar work. They are a newer project so have not recorded yet, but I’ll be keeping my eye on them for sure.
The Unders I was totally unfamiliar with before the show but they were a nice treat and a great discovery. Surfy, poppy garage, bubble gummy punk, dash of post punk…it’s a nice melting pot of those sounds and all would be good terms to sum them up. Whatever words you want to use to describe them, they absolutely have a really fun bouncy vibe to them with catchy songs and I found myself bopping along throughout their set. At some point near the end of the set, their guitarist’s pedal chain had a patch cable fail creating a bunch of static so he was given an assist by The Rizzos bassist who held it in place before the cable could be swapped out. Go for the music, stay for the community, love to see it!
The Rizzos closed the night out and are one of those bands that I have known about forever but somehow always managed to miss play, I don’t even know how, but I did. I obviously didn’t have a chance to for the last year and half either, but this was their first full set back and now my “just missing them” streak is broken. They are full on, fun fuzzy indie rock with a healthy dose of garage and absolutely had the whole crowd moving. Their bassist has an effects heavy rig and could easily slide right into a noise rock band, pulling some DFA 1979-esque squeals from the amp several times throughout the set. He also managed to pull some blood from his finger from shredding so hard which got patched up by someone in the crowd halfway through the set, again community here! The whole band has great energy and stage presence and I do hope I don’t have another long streak of missing their shows because that would just be a damn shame.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kate Hoos).
THE SENIOR YEAR