Pillow Queens, Deanna Petcoff @ Mercury Lounge

Pillow Queens, Deanna Petcoff @ Mercury Lounge

Pillow Queens at Mercury Lounge (photo by Kevin McGann)

 

Hot on the heels of their sophomore release, Leave the Light On (Royal Mountain Records), Dublin’s Pillow Queens made their New York debut last week to a sold-out crowd at Mercury Lounge. And from the moment they took they stage you could feel the energy in that room. Excited fans cheering, calling out band members by name, requesting songs and then singing along to every verse. The Queens have already built a strong base here and again, it was their first NY show!

 

It was a fun set too. While they tackle some weighty topics on their recent release they still manage to rock out and keep the mood light. Even offering up some funny stories from the road in between songs. Like how they discovered that day, on the second to last day of the tour, that the seats in the van recline. The set included a number of songs from Leave, among them, “House That Sailed Away”, “Well Kept Wife” and “No Good Woman”, as well as a cover of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy.”

 

Also on the road with them was friend and labelmate, Deanna Petcoff, who offered proof that you never skip the opener. Playing tracks from her recent release To Hell With You, I love You, Deanna and her band also had a fun upbeat show while offering up lines like ‘I’m sorry I’m pathetic, I think I need a medic, to help me put my shoes on’ from “Trash Bag.” I can relate! 

 

I don’t know if I’ll get to see Pillow Queens and Deanna Petcoff play together again but I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing what’s ahead for both.

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)

 

DEANNA PETCOFF

Deanna Petcoff performing

Deanna Petcoff performing

Deanna Petcoff performing

Deanna Petcoff performing

Deanna Petcoff performing

 

PILLOW QUEENS

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

Pillow Queens performing

 

 

 

Mogwai, Nina Nastasia, Ye Gods @ Brooklyn Steel

Mogwai, Nina Nastasia, Ye Gods @ Brooklyn Steel

Mogwai at Brooklyn Steel (photo by Kevin McGann)

 

Last week Mogwai made their way back to NYC in support of their latest Temporary Residence Ltd album, As the Love Continues. And true to form, they went on to blow the roof off Brooklyn Steel with a blistering set that left fans screaming for more.

 

I probably started seeing Mogwai back in the late 90’s/early 2000’s at NYC’s now defunct Brownies on Avenue A. Even then they would hit you with a wall of sound you could feel in your toes and you’d be transported to some other world during their set. While their sound has evolved over the past two decades, that feeling hasn’t. 

 

The set featured a lot of material from the new album, like beautiful opener “To the Bin My Friend, Tonight We Vacate Earth” to the electronic beats/sounds of “Here We, Here We, Here We Go Forever,” and “Dry Fantasy,” to the vocal driven “Ritchie Sacramento,” as well as rocking versions of “Ceiling Granny” and “Drive the Nail.” Those songs all fit in nicely with a set that included older songs like “How to Be a Werewolf,”  “New Paths to Helicon Pt.1” and 2017’s “Old Poisons.” They closed the show with fan favorite “Mogwai Fear Satan” from 1997.

 

The night also included two great openers. First up was Ye Gods (Antoni Maiovvi) who brought an industrial, beats driven set that reminded me at times of Nitzer Ebb. Whether behind his keyboards or out-front screaming on a mic, Ye delivered an intense set that I hope to get to experience again. Next up was Nina Nastasia who brought an acoustic guitar driven set to support music from her upcoming new album, Riderless Horse. I’m not familiar with her catalog but based on her songwriting and pure voice I’m excited to work my way through it.

 

The night of course though belonged to Scotland’s best, Mogwai. Check their tour schedule and grab a ticket to any show you can! 

 

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)

 

YE GODS

Ye Gods performing

Ye Gods performing

Ye Gods performing

Ye Gods performing

Ye Gods performing

Ye Gods performing

Ye Gods performing

 

 

NINA NASTASIA

Nina Nastasia performing

Nina Nastasia performing

Nina Nastasia performing

Nina Nastasia performing

Nina Nastasia performing

 

MOGWAI

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

Mogwai performing

 

 

Squid, Deliluh @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Squid, Deliluh @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Squid at Music Hall of Williamsburg (photo by Kevin McGann)

 

Squid have been described as post punk but their music goes way deeper than that. My first show was at Baby’s All Right in late 2021 and I was blown away. The perfect mix of raw energy, infectious beats, spaced out keyboard/electronic interludes, guitar driven, trumpet laced, scream therapy mayhem. And they’ve only gotten better. This week’s return to NYC saw them destroy both Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg on back-to-back nights.

 

I got to cover Wednesday’s show at Music Hall of Williamsburg as my first gig for Full Time Aesthetic and I can’t think of a better way to kick it off. Squid set the tone right from the start with the intro of “Nines” segueing into a ferocious version of “Peel St,” while the crowd chanted along “You don’t remember?!” From there they had a mix of newer song “Fugue” with older single “Sludge,” and tracks from their debut album that included “Boy Racers”, “Documentary Filmmaker”, and “GSK”. They closed their set with the 1-2 punch of “Narrator” and “Pamphlets” which saw them joined onstage by members of opener Deliluh on keys and sax.

 

Speaking of Danish/Canadian duo Deliluh, they were a band I was unfamiliar with before this week’s shows but I can’t wait to dig through their catalog. Their music is dense, layered, dark, brooding and trance like at times. Yet they mix in guitar and sax and bring an organic element to their electronic sound and I was pretty mesmerized. 

 

All in all it was a great fucking night and I tried my best to capture the energy in that room, though you can never really capture how powerful it felt. 

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)

 

DELILUH

Deliluh performing

Deliluh performing

Deliluh performing

Deliluh performing

Deliluh performing

Deliluh performing

 

 

SQUID

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing

Squid performing