I have Bieber fever for Brand New.
The year isn’t over, but Brand New at the Paramount in Huntington, NY tonight was the best show I’ve been to all year. Nice sized venue, although the sound could have been much better. The band was great, energetic and having fun. They interacted with the fans, which is always great. And the setlist was a dream. They played Vices & Gasoline back to back, I don’t know how I didn’t faint.
Many special guests joined the Cabin Down Below band for Dylan Fest this year. To name a few, or actually most of them: Norah Jones, Nicole Atkins, Binki Shapiro, Adam Green, Jack Dishel, Regina Spektor, Zane Carney, Will Forte and the New Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Most of the same people played on the second night and a few others showed up, including Reeve Carney, Justin Long and Alia Shawkat.
DJ Destructo started the night off with some danceable music, the crowd was having a good time. He kept the masses entertained. Nothing out of this world, but his set was fun.
Next up, Teengirl Fantasy. Their set was like going up a rollercoaster, feeling terrified anticipation, and finally reaching the top only to discover that it’s just a plateau for miles. At one point, the music was so monotonous that we found ourselves getting sleepy. Odd.
Then suddenly, our easily divided attention was distracted by a vicious fight, involving about ten people in the crowd. It was strange, because the music was the complete opposite of what we were witnessing. I guess music doesn’t always affect mood, because those kids should have been napping, not trying to strangle one another with glow sticks.
Finally, Crystal Castles. They came on close to midnight.
I didn’t keep detailed track of the setlist, I never really do, so here’s a random list:
Courtship Dating/Crimewave/Air War/Alice Practice/Baptism/Pap Smear/Suffocation/Untrust Us/Yes,No
Unfortunately they did not play Year of Silence, probably my favorite Crystal Castles song. But it was still a great set.
After dancing with abandon and crowdsurfing three times, Alice walked off of the stage with a crutch. My guess is that broken ankle is going to take much longer to heal than expected. But I think everyone appreciated her lack of concern for her own wellbeing. It made for a great performance.
Ethan was on point the entire night. Alice attracts most of the attention, especially with a broken ankle, it’s hard to look away. But he definitely kept the music flowing smoothly. And Christopher, he is probably the most neglected of those on stage, but he was a beast on the drums.
Can’t wait to see them again at the Sweetlife Festival in Maryland.
Here is video my sister took of the song they opened with, Baptism.
Unfortunately I only got to stay to see The Action Design because I had work the next day and had to catch an early train back to the city, however, just getting to see them was worth the trip.
Anyone who has been to many rock concerts knows that often, the opening band can be a pretty grueling form of torture. At times, I have even thought that perhaps the headlining band has picked the most horrible opening band they could find to set the bar for the night extremely low. So that by the time they come on stage the crowd is so miserable that anything the headlining band does is a major improvement and seems like the most epic concert ever.
That being said, this was NOT one of those concerts. The venue was crowded, the show was sold out and anyone who did not arrive early missed a great opening band. I have seen The Action Design several times in smaller venues, so it was great to get to see them at Mulcahy’s which is a medium sized concert hall. Their energy was great, their performance was on point and I couldn’t help dancing and singing along to the music.
I recorded a video of them performing one of their new singles, Still Standing. Unfortunately I cut it off a little too soon, so you can’t hear the enthusiastic applause at the end. But it’s worth checking out.
The crowd was mostly men in their mid 20’s and up, which can be a tough crowd for a band with a female vocalist. But on this occasion you could tell that the crowd was genuinely pleased with the opening band. Everyone was paying attention, I walked around the venue during their performance because I was taking pictures and I noticed everyone was really into them. They definitely made some new fans at this show.
500 copies of the vinyl were pressed and in all of about two weeks the vinyl has already sold out online. When I spoke to front woman Emily Whitehurst after the show, she informed me there are about 100 copies left that the band are selling on tour. So if you happen to see them, don’t hesitate to get yourself a copy. If vinyl isn’t your thing, they are also selling download cards for the two new singles.
If you haven’t heard The Action Design yet, you should definitely check them out. And if you’re going to see Social Distortion on their current tour, get there early so you don’t miss The Action Design‘s set. You won’t be disappointed.
– Roselyn Fortuna