There is a certain beauty about “firsts.” After all, by their very definition, there can only be one of them. So when I discovered that Sunday night’s set by Sub*T at Elsewhere Zone One would be the band’s first gig ever, I was stoked that I would be there to bear witness. Before I dive into the show, first a few quick words on Sub*T’s “story.” I will be brief since you can read about it in detail in FTA’s interview with the bands two protagonists, Grace Bennett and Jade Alcantara. The long and short of it being that the two bi-coastal friends (Grace of Brooklyn and Jade of Oakland) decided during pandemic to start a band…I mean, hell it sure beats learning to bake Irish soda bread. So they both learned how to play guitar and started writing collaborative songs remotely. They managed to release three singles in 2021 via Bandcamp which caught the attention of Alicia Bognanno of Bully who offered to produce their debut EP, So Green (read our review), which just came out.
Which brings us to Sunday evening at Elsewhere. When one shows up to a venue for a 7:30 PM set on a Sunday night, you pretty much are prepared that the room very likely could be completely empty. Au contraire! Zone One was basically filled. The room was bustling with a majority of younger women. But interestingly enough, there was a solid representation from older parental (and even some grand parental) types, who didn’t necessarily seem to be there as chaperones but more as true fans. Some of whom would later in the set join the mosh pit front and center of the stage.
Being as Sub*T is a duo, I had some curiosity as to whether an actual drummer or a drum machine would be added to the lineup, not to mention a bass player. With a drum kit setup on stage, it was obvious that a human drummer would be part of the lineup. The band came to the stage, along with a drummer (to be later introduced only as Chris) took the stage whereby Alcantara proceeded to ask the crowd if anyone knew how to play bass. Now I’ve seen this kind of thing done for ONE song, but it appeared that they were looking for someone to play their entire set! Needless to say, I immediately questioned the direction to which this night might be headed. Well, we soon found out that this was all an inside joke and Chuck the bass player was planted in the crowd all along. Quite honestly, a nice bit of schtick to ease the butterflies of taking the stage for the first time ever.
The band then proceeded to open things up with “Too Soon Too Long,” their single which was released in June. “Bruce Banner,” from So Green followed. Alcantara mentioned that the song was actually about Mark Ruffalo who had been invited to the debut show that evening but the band had not gotten a response. The rest of the set consisted of “Fur On Porcelain,” another So Green song as well as a smattering of “older” singles like “Table For Four,” and the set’s finale “Boxing Day.”
Despite the brevity of their set (they were the first of 3 bands for the evening after all), the crowd absolutely loved the band. As I said earlier, a mosh pit broke out during “Bruce Banner,” and continued on throughout the rest of the set. There was plenty of jumping up and down amongst those up close to the stage as well as a noticeable sing along coming from the crowd during “Boxing Day.” All told, I would have to say that Sub*T was a resounding success in their on stage debut and clearly should be a band to which you should keep on your radar for good things to come.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Ray Rusinak)