Weather can get you down, the guestlist Gestapo at Bowery Ballroom can get on your nerves. Combine the rain and an ultra slow line and the Bravery/Moving Units show got off to an auspicious start. The Bravery quickly get into things, though, opening up with potential killer[s] hit "Honest Mistake". Too bad half your crowd is still in the rain. The song, and what the group was wearing, initially hit me as their greatest strength and weakness. The songs are great, the band plays them well, but is that Carlos VD from Interpol or Bono Morrissey on stage? I thought I saw a Libertine but he quickly morphed into rock-a-billy bass dude from Joan Jett and the Blackhrearts meets Stray Cats. Literal influences worn on for-mentioned sleeves, NYC crowds are such d?cks. I digress. Songs like "No Brakes", "Unconditional", "I Don't See A Ring On This Finger" and the John Taylor approved "Public Service Announcement" with its "Stop, Drop and Roll" chorus are where the lads really shine. Adding backing vocals by the drummer Anthony Burulcich was a defo bonus. Singing drummers like Night Ranger rule. I guess that month long stint in London paid off because the band seems more confident on stage. Or was it all that practice in front of the mirror with the hairbrush? Hey singer Sam Endicott, remember, half your audience has seen Morrissey live. We get it. And lastly, "My Sharona"-era bowl-cutted guitarist Michael Zakarin has added playing some leads in concert to his repertoire. A welcome move, keep up the chops. As they say in the biz, they are trending in the right direction.
Next up was LA's Moving Units starting things off with a two man DAT-jam with drummer Chris Hathwell on bass and frontman Blake Miller freaking a tune with enough energy to to rival the spaz kid from Arcade Fire. Plagued with technical difficulties throughout the show, the band did their best to keep things moving, get it, that's their name. With a voice approaching nasal vibratto at times, falsetto at others, Blake has a cool, slinky delivery. Not to say he lacks energy, it's just compared to bonkers drummer Chris Hathwell he looks like a Tibetan monk mid-prayer. But riddle me this, Batman, what is this funk-punk that seems to be everywhere? The disco octave basslines and hi-hats on the "ands" are ubiquitous. What at least struck me about these guys, is they want to rock out almost Chili Pepper stylee like on songs like "Emancipation", "Between Us & Them", "Available" and "Melodrama" to where the rest of the lot are more a homage to Gang of Four and more Britsh influences. With the shortened set and gear breakage, it will have to be their next show where I can really get a sense of their sound. But for now, I was all smiles.