It had been a few months since I last saw San Francisco's Birdmonster perform. We did plenty of hanging out and boozing it up in Austin during SXSW with the band, chatting about one-hit wonders from the '90s, but the douchebag door guy wouldn't let me in to their showcase. That being said, I was pretty excited to hear some of their new material that they have been working on, but before I get to the show review, I must briefly discuss the Gramercy Theatre.
The Gramercy is one of the newest live music venue's in the NYC area, located literally just a handful of blocks away from the office. My first impressions of the venue were optimistic, until I quickly discovered that they impose a no photography rule without a press pass is similar to that of Bowery Ballroom and Webster Hall. Lame. My SLR camera was not allowed into the venue, so their proximity to the office was a mighty good thing.
Once I got wanded by the security dude again, received my tickets and walked in, I was hoping that the rest of the night would be a bit more pleasant. The wife and I made a quick trip to the bar, snagged a couple of very overpriced drinks and got up close to the stage for some good ol' Birdmonster rock & roll. Despite the miserable sound at the Grammercy, the fellas put on a fantastic show.
I was very curious to see how the band would handle a large stage of that size, which would make some younger bands seem a bit uncomfortable. Just like the natural pros that they are, their boundless enthusiasm and energy filled up the theater with ease. Peter Arcuni continues to prove that he is a natural frontman, keeping the ladies up at the front of the stage totally mesmerized as they sang along with every single song.
As much as I love their older material, Birdmonster have taken their music up a notch with their latest batch of songs. Still embracing the energy that makes them so enjoyable, they have also added in a heaping helping of pop melody to their songwriting formula. Their next album has the potential to be killer. Fans of the band also got to enjoy favorites such as "Balcony," "Alabama" and a crazy version of "Ice Age" during which the guys from Mason Proper joined them on stage. It was a spectacular of the song, taking the already explosive conclusion to a whole new level.
Once their set was over, it was apparent that Birdmonster fucking rules, while Gramercy Theatre pretty much blows. If they can get the sound improved, and drop the prices of beverages a bit, it might be a cool spot. Oh, and if the Birdmonster fellas happen to read this, stop by the Tripwire office if you want your red RhythMix egg-shaker percussion thingy back. I'm still not sure how I ended up with it after you launched it into the crowd, but it is on my desk waiting for you. Many thanks to Steve Rogovin for the photos, as he was somehow able to smuggle in a camera.
Photos by Steve Rogovin