After seeing The Stands perform an acoustic set in our office last week, I was quite anxious to see the band “plugged in”. I attended one of their multiple NYC shows on Friday night at the packed Mercury Lounge and was very satisfied with what I heard. This band is the real deal: a fucking rock & roll band with amazing songs.
I have had my copy of their album All Years Leaving for a few months now, and was quite curious to hear how these tunes sounded live. The album is filled with layers of harmonies, harmonica solos, handclaps and tight guitar work. On stage these songs took a whole new life. They maintained their Byrds influences but added a whole new level of rock in the vein of Oasis to their tunes. Now I see why Noel Gallagher loves this band. Frontman Howie Payne was in complete control, belting out his Dylan-esque vocals with guitarist Steve Pilgrim nailing the harmonies on “Outside Your Door”. The Stands flexed their music muscles on “The Way She Does”, breaking down into one hell of a rock jam session.
They blazed through most of the songs on their current album and even included a new tune in their set. Payne didn’t announce the title of the song, but it shows the direction that The Stands are taking with their next album. I expect very big things from this band in the near future. They have the songs, the talent and the momentum to do great things over the next year.
Tripwire correspondent Christen Thomas was at the same show, which also featured NYC by way of Texas rock band Calla. Make sure you click back to the news page and check out her review as well.