I TOLD you I loved Long-View. So of course I was going to see them on back to back nights in the Big Apple. They had traveled all the way from Manchester to play these two showcases for the label, Columbia, and for their NYC fans, and I was going to be damned if I was going to miss their second, more highly-anticipated Mercury Lounge show, after kicking off the New York festivities on Monday night at Piano’s.
As was to be expected the attendance was up and the sound quality that much higher the second evening. Again, the set consisted of six songs, but this time the band threw in the added X-factor of “crazy drunk older guy” directly in-front of frontman Rob McVey. Actually, the band had nothing to do with “crazy drunk older guy,” but he was special, for sure. At first I couldn’t discern whether he was “super enthusiastic label guy” or “crazy drunk older guy” but once I saw him making altar offerings of a bottle of whiskey to McVey and concocting a cocktail made up of leftovers from four other cocktails to give to Rob, as well, that his true identity was made clear. Luckily, he caused no more trouble than being an eyesore and the crowd was able to concentrate on those six lovely songs. “When You Sleep,” “I Would,” “Will You Wait Here,” “Further,” and “Can’t Explain” all made repeat appearances, although with the expanded space and better sound system, the live renditions were increasingly glorious. And, on the suggestion of A&R kingpin Matt Pinfield, the band mixed in one of his favorites, the spine-tingling “Still”. Two nights with a mere six songs each left the crowd wanting more, but more they’ll most likely get when the band’s debut, Mercury, hits US shelves this spring. Shout out to Alex Gilbert for dragging my ass through the front door. He’s a good kid. No wonder he signed this band in the first place.