Written by Jessica Klausing
Day 3: The Final Installment
Saturday was the last night of the Outlaw Roadshow in the Big Apple. This night promised fans more surprises and great music. You can bet that no one went home disappointed! It would be difficult to pick which night was the best. Each night these bands have shared something special with the fans.
Live music has a way of making you forget about everything going on in your life. It allows personal reflection without judgment. It’s that feeling of being surrounded by like-minded souls. It’s a spiritual journey through suffering and redemption that makes us who we are as people. This generates the dynamic energy shared between the bands and fans during a performance. This type of energy cannot be felt through a recording; It's what fuels a musician to push their artistic boundaries. It’s that moment of being able to watch something creative happen and transform right before your eyes. It is what makes live music an incredible experience.
These eight bands have honed their skills in their respective genres and brought an electrifying close to this action packed weekend at The Bowery Electric.
Click on the links below to read the other two Outlaw NYC reviews:
“This ocean has my soul/ Long lost love that won’t let go,” is a lyric in “Siren Song” that's the heart of Tony Roberts’s music. His laid-back vocals paired with his acoustic guitar make his music ideal for a lazy day at the beach with an ice-cold margarita in hand. His musical style stood out among the other Outlaw bands.
This Key West singer/songwriter attributes his sound to his time spent on the surf scene in Costa Rica. While he may have the sound of Jack Johnson and Michael Franti, his songwriting is closer to that of Bob Dylan. Roberts identifies the average man's worries but with a positive outlook.
Siren Song: “Siren Song,” Dreams of Gold,” “The Only Thing Missing,” “The Same Old Stupid Love,” and “A Damn Cold December.”
The Rationales venture outside of the indie rock norm. The dreamy orchestration make up the power pop melody while the ripping guitars proudly show off the alt-country roots. The band considers themselves simply rock N’ roll. David Mirabella’s lush vocal delivery compliments well within a softer ballad like "Ruby Colored Halo" and the more hard rockin' songs like "Radio."
These guys are an absolute joy to watch live. Mirabella pours his soul into heartfelt lyrics and channels passion through his guitar. When asked about the thought process behind their music, David Mirabella responded, “I just start playing guitar and let my subconscious thoughts take over.”
The Going and The Gone: “Guardrail,” “Far Away,” “On the Vine,” and “Ruby Colored Halo.”
The Distance In Between: “Real Life,” “Jaded,” “Burned Again,” “Try to Tell Me,” “Tongue-Tied,” and “The One You Wanted.”
Dream of Fire: “Drunk all the time,” “Radio” and “Let it Go.”
Star Anna’s stage presence was a sheer vision of mystery. She donned a large black hat that hid most of her face in the dimly lit Map Room while her voice cried out the lonesome blues that has put her heart through the wringer.
Her Bruce Springsteen cover of “Dancing in the Dark” gave the upbeat song a dreary air of nostalgia. Star Anna’s performance will take you on a journey through how to heal after hitting rock bottom.
Light in The Window: “Light in the Window,” “Big Bad Wolf,” “3X3,” “Everything You Know,” and “Down to the Bottom.”
Within the theme of being misunderstood comes Kirby Brown. In the song "Joni," Brown sings of a woman that claims she's an open book when in reality, she's aloof. Brown uses allusion and his hometown inspiration as the tools for his poetic narrative style.
I found Brown’s performance quite engaging and charming. He does not try to come across as something he is not. Instead, Brown shines with his acoustic guitar and modest vocals. His overall sound is a delicate balance between country and bluegrass.
Child Of Calamity: “Young! Young! Young!,” “No…My Generation,” “Coattails,” “Talk,” and “Throw You Away.”
I discovered Julie Rhodes thanks to my die-hard music friend Eric. We had listened to her album, Bound To Meet The Devil all the way to the venue. A powerhouse voice with the soul of Billie Holiday, the grit of Janis Joplin and the charm of Bonnie Raitt all rolled into one. Her live performance is as mesmerizing as her album.
Rhodes’s prowess will have you throwin’ your hand up and declarin’ ‘Hallelujah’ to her gospel cries! “Faith” offers a positive message about holding on through the dark days. Her soulful hums and crackling guitar riffs ignite her fiery passion.
Bound To Meet The Devil: “In Your Garden,” “Faith,” “Hey Stranger,” “Holes,” “See the Sun,” and “Skyscraper Blues.”
Town Meeting is an Americana folk band with music that serves as the soundtrack for the small-town underdog destined for something great. “But if we know who we are, who can tell us what we’re not” in “If This Were a Movie,” offers the inspirational message of being true to yourself. Their story-driven lyrics and gorgeous harmonies rank them in the same league with folk legends The Avett Brothers.
The song “Phoenix” shows off what this band is capable of with their sensitivity to lyrical content and musical arrangements. The lyric “California isn’t what I thought it’d be when I put myself inside a plane and left my family,” was made more heartbreaking with a bluesy harmonica and a simple guitar strum.
If I Die: “Time,” “Verge,” “If This Were a Movie,” “Phoenix,” “Wash My Hands,” “Digging,” and “Orange and Reds.”
Matt York’s music teeters somewhere between indie rock and rockabilly. His sound is closer to The Hold Steady but I would compare his lyrical wit to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
York’s lyrics offer playful jabs at a simple man going through the motions of life. It often reflects sad scenarios but with an optimistic sounding guitar. However you want to interpret his music, it is pure rock N’ roll goodness and it got the audience up and dancing without a care.
Boston, Texas: “Big Fan of Why,” “Let’s Go to the Beach,” “Losing Streak,” “New to You,” and “Sick of it all.”
Old Jack brought the house down at The Bowery Electric! Dan Nicklin is the epitome of Boston rock swagger. Nicklin took stage sporting a brown fedora, sweet shades and a plaid scarf loosely tied around his neck. The moment he crooned his fireball whiskey-smooth vocals into the old soul aficionado “Drivin’ All Night,” I just knew this was special.
Nicklin belts out the woes of a ramblin’ man with infinite wisdom. Backed with bluesy backup vocals, vibrant percussion, and some stellar guitar solos, he had everyone up clapping and singing along. This much lightning in a bottle called for an encore. Dan Nicklin sent the fans off with enough musical passion that would make any Outlaw proud.
Gone Before You Know: “Chorus Line,” “Deny Me Not,” “Face Like Mine,” and “Hold Tight.”
What is Home to You: “Miles Away,” “Oh Daddy,” “What is Home to You,” “Easy to Love,” “Lonely Alone,” and “Whistle Blowin.”