GIFT at Baby’s All Right (photo by Kevin McGann)
Last year I discovered NYC’s GIFT when they opened for Frankie and the Witch Fingers and was instantly hooked (see pics). A few months later I was there to celebrate the release of their debut album Momentary Presence (Dedstrange) which wound up on my list of Favorites of 2022 for FTA (see pics). And this past weekend I was lucky enough to catch them once again as they kicked off their tour at Baby’s All Right along with fellow psych rockers, LA-Based Hooveriii (“Hoover Three”).
GIFT—TJ Freda on vocals/guitar, Kallan Campbell on bass, Justin Hrabvosky on guitar/keys, and Cooper Naess on drums tore up the room as they journeyed through their dream-like psych pop found on Presence. But while it was a great show that had one of the most packed rooms I’ve ever seen at Baby’s, there was one member sorely missing. Guitarist Jessica Gurewitz was there but not feeling well and unable to play. But Freda and gang never let her forget she was missed as they had the crowd scream “We love you, Jessica!” throughout their set. And apparently the good mojo worked as they were all on board the bus the next day to continue the tour.
GIFT at Baby’s All Right
Opening the night was NYC based Customer, an up-and-coming indie/post-punk 4-piece featuring Nicola Leel, Mallory Hawk, Dave Medina and Greg Rutkin. They kicked things off with a fun, upbeat set that perfectly led into Hooveriii who took it to another level. Like their most recent full length, 2022’s A Round of Applause (The Reverberation Appreciation Society), Hooveriii brings so many elements into their sound. Sure it’s got the reverb, fuzzy guitar sound you’d expect from psych-rock artists, but its also got 60’s pop sensibilities, it’s funky, it’s hard hitting and band members Bert Hoover, Gabe Flores, Kaz Mirblouk, James Novick, and Owen Barrett, can get lost in a jam session that you wish would go all night. It was a blistering set and a perfect pairing for this tour.
Speaking of which—make sure to catch one of the few remaining dates on this tour and watch two of the best bands out there on one bill.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)