The Brooklyn Night Bazaar is one of those magical, secret places you can find scattered throughout the city. Located in Greenpoint, in what looks from the outside to be an abandoned warehouse, the Brooklyn Night Bazaar provides music, art, food and fun on Friday and Saturday nights. Admission is free, the food is often ethnic or artisanal (or both), there’s putt-putt golf, arcade games, air hockey, local vendors selling everything from crafts to clothes to jewelry to tattoos, plenty of alcohol (including a beer garden) and best of all, music.
The stage was compact, with excellent sound quality. The acoustics weren’t the best – at the other end of the Bazaar the music was almost inaudible – but that’s to be expected in such a cavernous location. The lights were surprisingly sophisticated and included four projector screens in lieu of the usual canvas or vinyl backdrop, something a band that uses a lot of visuals could take advantage of.
Overall, the Brooklyn Night Bazaar proved to be a decent venue, with a lot of fun activities, and is a great way to support local businesses and artists.
Northern Faces is an alt-indie rock quartet hailing from Albany. At first glance, there seemed to be little to distinguish them from other alt-indie rock groups that litter the musical landscape, but a couple of songs in they hit their groove and bloomed. There’s a lot of gritty blues-infused riffs in the music and snarky bass lines that jump out at you, qualities that make Northern Faces stand apart from similar acts.
The band was into their performance, clearly enjoying themselves on stage. Their particular brand of raucous music got the crowd moving their feet, and they closed with a softer touch, playing Finding Hope, a southern rock-influenced anthem, coaxing the crowd to sing along with the chorus.
I knew by the end of their set that Northern Faces was a band I had to check out.
Bryan Shortell and Marco Testa share guitar and lead vocal duties, with Matt Ippolito on bass and Mike Ryan on drums. Their EP Southern Places was released in 2012 and they are planning on releasing a full-length record in early 2015. They put on a great live show, so catch them if you can.
Transit is a Boston based act that’s been around for a number of years, with a good number of records under their belt, including their most recent release, Joyriding, which dropped in October. Their sound is an organic fusion of pop punk and indie rock, shading more toward the rock end of the spectrum, with driving rhythms and a clean, sharp sound.
They were pretty popular with the crowd and there were a lot of people singing along with the songs; it was clear that their lyrics really resonate with the fans. There was crowd surfing and flying elbows and the singer threw himself into the audience at one point, which almost resulted in me getting a shoe to the face.
Transit brought a lot of energy to the show, and they kept the momentum going during their set and fired up the crowd. A fun band to catch live, if you can. Transit is Joe Boynton (vocals), Torre Cioffi (guitar/vocals), P.J. Jefferson (bass) and Daniel Frazier (drums).
Frnkiero andthe Cellabration just got back from an exhausting month-long UK tour but you would never guess that from the way they ripped up the stage. Their performance is always high energy, they put 110% into the show and the audience really responds to that.
I was fortunate to catch the record release show for Frank’s album Stomachaches back in August, and I could see what a big difference the fall touring made for the band. Their musicianship is still superb, but there’s a level of comfort and familiarity now; they’re more relaxed and able to enjoy themselves, which is a wonderful thing to see.
Frank was very engaged with the audience, chatting and telling stories between songs, and then throwing himself headlong into the music. The set covered all but one song off the album, with a couple of great covers and the rollicking This Song is a Curse thrown in for good measure.
Frnkiero andthe Cellabration continues to be one of my favorite bands to see live. There’s something exhilarating about seeing the band play their hearts out while the audience sings along with every word, screaming and crying and moving to the music.
Frank has hijacked Evan Nestor (guitar), Rob Hughes (bass) and Matt Olsen (drums) to play with him while on tour. They’re currently taking a break, but definitely catch them live if you have the opportunity, and check out Stomachaches, because it’s an amazing record.
Free shows are always an experience, and checking out these bands and the Brooklyn Night Bazaar was totally worth it.
by cardiac_in_overdrive (@cardiac_ovrdrv)