Last Tuesday night saw the 2nd time in two weeks I’ve been able to catch NY’s Native Sun. And like every show of theirs I’ve attended, they never disappoint. This one was special though as it was to celebrate the release of their EP, Off With Our Heads (Grand Jury Music).
Kicking off the night was Brooklyn’s Dead Tooth who brought their genre mixing brand of post-punk hard rock to Baby’s for what would be the first of three hard charging performances that night. Front man Zach James, often times teetering on the edge of the stage, set the tone with an intense performance that had him sing-scream-chanting at the crowd one minute and down on the floor the next. I’ve read that they don’t want to be narrowly defined by any one genre, as they have many disparate influences among them, and it’s that mix of styles that makes their sound so unique. Like their recent single “Sporty Boy,” which is like an upbeat punk/jazz, sax fueled, vocally distorted jam and carries a positive message getting out there and going something. And having fun while you do it which they clearly did that night.
Next up was Woodstock’s The Bobby Lees who were celebrating the release of their latest full-length album, Bellevue (Ipecac Recordings). The 4-piece rock band consists of Sam Quartin on vocals and guitar, Kendall Wind on bass, Nick Casa on guitar, and Macky Bowman on drums. Formed in 2018 the group released their debut album, Beauty Pageant the following year which landed them the opening slot for acts like Future Islands and The Black Lips. And it’s easy to see why as they clearly leave nothing on the stage, delivering a blistering set that saw all four members attacking their gear. Especially Bowman who may have literally destroyed his kit by set’s end. And of course, there’s Sam Quartin who literally exorcises her demons on stage in a fierce performance—just watch their video for “Bellevue” to get a better understanding.
By the time Native Sun took the stage, the crowd was whipped into a frenzy. And who better than Sun to take that energy and push it over the edge?? From the moment front man Danny Gomez, bassist Justin Barry, guitarist Rob Guariglia, and drummer Nico Espinosa took the stage, the crowd was ready to pounce. They had played last week at Elsewhere on an amazing bill with Frech stoner-rock band Slift (our coverage can be found here) to a much bigger room, but it’s these smaller rooms where you really get the full experience. Where the line between band and audience blurs and you wind up with Danny out on the floor while a crowd surfer passes him on their way to the stage.
Set-wise it was a mix of old favorites “There’s Revolution,” “Big Succ(ess,” “Jesus,” “Off the Dial” and “Juarez” along with new jams “Strawberry Cough,” “When She” and “Called the Doctor” from Off With Our Heads. Speaking of Heads, the EP is now available on Native Sun’s Bandcamp page, from streaming to vinyl to limited edition cassette. And make sure to catch these guys at these small intimate gigs while you still can.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)
THE BOBBY LEES