After months of battling off a very curious music press and doing their best to keep a low profile for the label’s first rock signing, Vice Records brought The Stills to Sin-È for an industry showcase. The small room on Manhattan’s Lower East Side was packed to capacity last night (realistically, it must have been way over capacity). As soon as I stepped in the door, I realized there was no clear path to the bar, or to anywhere for that matter. So I puffed out my huge beefy chest (note the sarcasm) and fought my way across the room and over to the bar for a tasty, free Red Stripe.
The band took the stage and with a brief, “hi, we’re the Stills,” and the hour-long set was underway. I luckily received an advance of the band’s forthcoming album a day prior to the show and listened to it around ten times. Let me tell you right now that this band is going to HUGE. Their album soars with lush instrumentation and tight musicianship. It’s a captivating listen, and one that gets better each time through (think Interpol’s Turn On The Bright Lights, Coldplay’s A Rush Of Blood To The Head, and Doves’ The Last Broadcast all rolled into one.) Though I was still new to the album, The Stills live show brought it to life. “Changes Are No Good,” “Lola Stars And Stripes,” “Of Montreal,” “Gender Bombs,” and the one everyone should know by now, “Still In Love Song,” took on a new meaning. After seeing the band perform these tracks, ones that I’ve heard so much about over the past couple of months, I understood clearly why Vice is so excited about these guys. The gang from Interpol were on hand as well to check out their friends and forthcoming tour partners, so they must be cool.
There was not much room for dancing in the tight quarters, but my Cornerstone compadres and I managed to do a bit of head bobbing and once I think my left hip might have had room to shake for about 10 seconds. It didn’t matter though, the show killed. And what better way to follow up a rocking gig at Sin-È, than a big fat corned beef sandwich from Katz Deli (best sandwich ever).