Porches @ Union Pool

Porches @ Union Pool

Porches at Union Pool (photo by Emilio Herce)

 

It’s a credit to Porches that they can announce a show and sell it out within a week, during a snowstorm no less. Fans who did brave the weather were rewarded by Aaron Maine and his band perform songs off this most recent record, 2021’s excellent All Day Gentle Hold ! as well as fan favorites.

 

It was a sweaty, cathartic show the likes I had not attended since pre-pandemic, and the band was joined by special guests Chloe MK and Dev Hynes. Even with a stripped-down band (Maine performed alongside guitarist Dan English (who also opened the show) and drummer, the songs sounded full and made the small Union Pool feel like an ecstatic dance party.

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Emilio Herce)

 

MAY RIO

May Rio performing

May Rio performing

May Rio performing

May Rio performing

May Rio performing

May Rio performing

 

DAN ENGLISH

Dan English performing

Dan English performing

Dan English performing

Dan English performing

Dan English performing

Dan English performing

Dan English performing

Dan English performing

Dan English performing

 

 

PORCHES

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

Porches performing

 

Wet Leg @ Baby’s All Right

Wet Leg @ Baby’s All Right

Wet Leg at Baby’s All Right (photo by Emilio Herce)

 

It’s hard not to be a little suspicious about Wet Leg’s meteoric rise. Upon their first visit to NYC, the Isle of Wight founded duo of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers sold out three shows at Union Pool, Baby’s All Right, and Mercury Lounge, made their late night debut on Seth Myers, and have drawn comparisons to Arctic Monkeys due to their explosive popularity, (their recent signing to Domino did not help).

 

I attended the third of their sold out shows at Baby’s, and so as not to bury the lead, they indeed lived up to the hype and were absolutely brilliant. Wet Leg’s songs are clever and playful, without a sleeper among them. The group has only four songs available for public consumption, all of which showcase a more post-punk lilt. This came through in their performance, but live they also underscore the group’s keen ear for melody and detail oriented story songs. I expect that a part of their appeal is their songs’ accessibility and the joy conveyed in their performance, a breath of fresh air compared to the more angular and disaffected style of some of Brooklyn’s home brewed bands. The other part of their appeal is that they are strong performers, and inspired a mosh pit from a crowd that by my count was mostly industry, which is saying something.

 

There were definitely some nay-sayers in the crowd, wondering out loud if the band deserved the attention they so far have garnered. You really can’t help but root for them though. Their sudden (but again, deserved) success hasn’t seemed to be taken for granted by the band, and they seemed both surprised at the stateside reception, and overjoyed to be performing in NYC. The winsome duo may in fact be the most exciting UK export this year. 

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Emilio Herce)

 

WET LEG 

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing ‘Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

Wet Leg performing

 

 

 

Alex G, Exum @ Webster Hall

Alex G, Exum @ Webster Hall

Alex G at Webster Hall (photo by Emilio Herce)

 

Alex G’s eclectic style has long made him your favorite songwriter’s favorite songwriter. At risk of having my indie card revoked, I will admit that while I got the appeal, it took until 2019’s House Of Sugar for his music to really hit me. 

 

Alex G’s performance on Tuesday, December 7th at Webster Hall, the second of two sold-out  NYC shows, which also featured opener Exum, focused heavily on songs from this album, as well as 2017’s Rocket. While he is known for the lo-fi production of his albums, performed live, these songs become expansive, revealing the complexity of their compositions and instrumentation. A skilled multi-instrumentalist, Alex G, switching between guitar and piano, lead his band in stirring renditions of “Gretel,” “Hope,” “Brick” as well as a cover of Coldplay’s Clocks (which made even the most diehard hipster in attendance unlatch their crossed arms), and a brief piano interlude of “Jingle Bell Rock”

 

It was mesmerizing to see his songs, opaque character studies drenched in bedroom reverb, filed out when performed live. Alex G is the master of defying genre, while still coloring inside the lines (a fuzzed-out guitar line tearing through an acoustic chorus for example), to create songs that are both accessible and forward-thinking.

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Emilio Herce)

 

EXUM

Exum performing

Exum performing Exum performing

Exum performing

Exum performing

Exum performing

Exum performing

 

 

ALEX G

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

Alex G performing

 

 

Hiss Golden Messenger @ Webster Hall

Hiss Golden Messenger @ Webster Hall

Hiss Golden Messenger at Webster Hall (photo by Emilio Herce)

 

Hiss Golden Messenger performed a stirring set at Webster Hall on Thursday, December 2nd. Despite thanking the crowd for bearing with him and his band while they shook the cobwebs off, Mike “MC” Taylor, and his group performed a tight and rousing set of songs from his recent albums and fan favorites including “Biloxi,” “Bright Direction (You’re a Dark Star Now),” and “Caledonia, My Love.”

 

Taylor writes songs about intimacy, dependence, and love, but also critiques of capitalism and self effacing self portraits. Though ostensibly a folk project (Taylor performed on an acoustic guitar for a good part of the show), his music is far more expansive, incorporating blues, funk, soul, alternative country and even R&B, delivered in his distinctive warm and expressive baritone.

 

Taylor and his band have a habit of teasing out his songs live, extending choruses and allowing each band member to take a solo (a blessing for me as a photographer, considering we only get to shoot the first three songs of a set). Never does this feel meandering or rambly though, and as a fellow photographer put it that night, “he’s the brains, and he found a band that just gets it.” I did feel that at the show. As beautifully rendered as the songs are on the record, they came to life on stage and it was a true joy to experience.

 

Scroll down for more pics of the show (photos by Emilio Herce)

 

 

HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing

Hiss Golden Messenger performing