I didn’t know what I was in for. -Ed.
Pre-show: The Wythe Hotel/Reynard Restaurant
It was me and a stool at the bar, at The Wythe Hotel’s Reynard restaurant, which is directly across the street from The Brooklyn Bowl. I had a cocktail, and after looking over the menu, I decided to nosh on some delish french fries while checking out the decor. The Reynard has a very hipster, ‘Brooklyn-esque’ feel to it. Exposed brick, tiled floors, dark woods, large windows. Gorgeous.
The Wythe Hotel is partly owned by Marlow & Sons owner, Andrew Tarlow. I personally love Marlow & Sons, Marlow & Daughters, and DINER and their whole holisitic stance on food and clothing – it is not a wonder that I loved the vibe in Reynard. The other two owners are Jed Walentas and Peter Lawrence, a real estate man and a restaurant/hotel guy. Put these two guys alongside a Brooklyn restaurant guy, and voila! You have an amazingly hip hotel, conveniently located across the street, to rest your weary bones after shaking them hard at The Brooklyn Bowl. Seriously – check this place out at least once on your way to The Bowl.
Opener: The Alecia Chakour Band
As I listened to the beautiful Alecia Chakour (Warren Haynes Band) sing with her band – including a three piece horn section – I was, with conviction, convinced that Ms. Chakour is a blues singer. A sultry, heavy blues singer. I was pleased with myself and my new found adjective to describe her. Until she switched to a jazz song, where she sounded more like Etta James or Ella Fitzgerald. So, there goes my new adjective – she just sings so strong, so tough, she leaves goosebumps upon your arms and neck. Yes. She’s that good.
Set Break: “No!” to the fried chicken, and Crowd-gazing
I went to say hello to some friends, and waited with them until their fried chicken arrived. I was strong and said “no, enjoy your dinner” to them and was pleased with myself for not having a piece. I then sat on the leather couches, and crowd-gazed. I saw friends reacquaint with each other. People had spilled out of the restaurant into the front room, happily eating fried chicken and french bread pizza. But there was one special lady in the crowd that got my attention. I believe it was her 5 inch heels that attracted me first – 5 inch heels, and she was jumping up and down in them like she was wearing sneakers. It is my personal jealousy to wear stilettos again in my lifetime – hence my keen interest. Then she took off her coat, and from my vantage point she had on a backless unitard. Shiny spandex, 5 inch heels, a backless shirt looking like a spandex unitard. She was too hip for me. I was immediately feeling akward with my jeans and woolen coat. I got another drink and found my way to the dance floor.
Show: The Revivalists
Crowd: 5:1 male to female ratio (EXCELLENT odds for the female’s in the audience)
The Revivalists, coming off a wildly successful run down at SXSW, are not strangers to NYC, or Brooklyn for that matter. This is their second show at The Brooklyn Bowl, and they also played a gig at Mercury Lounge. This is, however, my first chance catching them, and I went to check them out, because “those who buzz about such things were buzzing.” It was time for me to make my own assessment.
The Revivalists are from New Orleans. They are a relatively new band – formed in 2007, consisting of Dave Shaw – Vocals/Guitar, Zack Feinberg – Guitar, George Gekas – Bass, Ed Williams – Pedal Steel Guitar, Rob Ingraham- Saxophone, Andrew Campanelli – Drums, Michael Girardot – Keyboards/Trumpet.
They came out with a yellow flag with a smiley face on it, which I thought could be a good sign. They were fun. More than fun. I can’t describe the type of music. They start like a fun beat rock and turn into deep dark funk-land. At first I was mesmorized by the guitars – the pedal steel and the singer dancing around the stage, being brought to his knees, and also jumping on monitors, and wailing/singing-into the mic. After about a few songs of me just getting attuned to what I was hearing, I realized how amazingly funky and strong their bass player is.
They are funky, poppy/punk, head banging, great dancing all around band. Take a bit of reggae, a bit of funk, smash it with some punk rock riffs and a singer that is a bit “loco,” dancing on monitors, jumping on the pedal steel seat while the guitarist is still playing. Shaw’s gyrations on the stage, his singing in the mic, he walked the ledge around and on the side of the stage – almost looked like he would’ve dived in, if not for the security guard who was not too impressed.
That girl with the unitard? Somehow she made it on stage, making all the boys on the stage drool at the hot go-go girl with the heels and spandex dance around. It was a crazy party! Wild and great, people loving it, I had a blast, the music was new – exciting, dancable, smilable. It was a great show. I highly recommend you catch these guys if you can. Wherever you can.
They ended with a homage to Lettuce with “Madison Square,” making me feel a bit like I was at the Knicks game, and then closing out with The Allman Brother’s “Whipping Post.” All in perfect time for Questlove’s weekly Thursday Bowltrain.
I have not spent too much time at Questo’s BowlTrain DJ sets lately. I don’t know why. Probably because it is on a school night for me, and I am on my way back to the city by then. But not this night.
Questo DJ’s some serious seventies albums. Old favorites from Chaka Khan, The Bee Gees, Barry White, Curtis Mayfield, serious 70s songs. With Soul Train clips playing on all the monitors. It was a dance party. On the monitors there was soul train, 70’s polyester dance offs, and on the dance floor there was dance offs happening in a circle. In one area people are getting close and sexy, public displays of affection and making out all around, and then in another part of the dance floor you see men and women alike dancing down to Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman.” Fun, like you wouldn’t believe fun.
And I broke down and had a piece of fried chicken. I’m a sucker for them, I truly am.