Our rental vehicle came with 3200 free miles. At present, we’ve burned through 2,565 miles, with an estimated 40% of those spent driving around in Bushwick looking for a place to park the fucking van.
Technically a significant portion of this activity actually took place in Queens, as we were crashing with our good friend John Hunter, formerly of Matty and Mossy, Dethro Skull and Inoculist/Glory Girls and currently of James Marten, who lives just north of the Queens/Brooklyn border in Ridgewood.
Fortunately, we faced no such issues at the venue, as it was located in an industrial area. We parked and loaded in, and Melissa, Angela and I went to meet John and Angela’s friend Greg at a trendy but admittedly fantastic gourmet pizza restaurant a few blocks away, while Sam and Jamie opted for the humbler and arguably more traditional comforts of a street joint nearby, in order to make time for a string change.
Monday, May 18: The Acheron (Brooklyn) with Think Tank and Thera Roya
I paid forward the generosity that Evan Madden showed in Philly by offering my kit for the drummers of Think Tank and Thera Roya in the place of the house drums (said a source with knowledge of the situation who chose to remain anonymous for their own protection: “if I were a drummer, I’d use my own stuff”). This was actually kind of exciting to me since I rarely get to hear my own drums live.
Think Tank were recommended to us by our friend Will Adams, who is tight with their guitarist “Crazy” Mike Foti (shown here as a blur/cloud of hair)
My understanding is that this band has something of a variable lineup, and they told us that at least part of this set was improvised. The overall effect was something like a noisier Godheadsilo maybe? Loud, dirty, experimental, and their drummer (whose name I am sorry to say escapes me) did an admirable job, and handled the band’s yells to boot.
Hear their brand new EP on Bandcamp. They should have even more new stuff coming soon, so keep an eye out for that as well.
We played second. Setlist:
We set up in front of our speaker cabinets, Melissa’s rig directly behind me- just the way I like it.
This way I have a front-row seat when, say, her amp stops working while we’re playing Cruel Weight. Which- funny coincidence- is exactly what happened! We tried fussing with it a bit, but to no avail; fortunately, less than a minute remained in the set, and we have a backup head to use until she can figure out what’s up.
Thera Roya came recommended by our boy James Magruder of Dead to a Dying World and a number of other bands, and their Isis-esque brand of post-metal did not disappoint.
Ryan Smith also handled my drums well, and also sang at the same time, switching between a hoarse bark and a surprisingly pretty singing voice. Melissa thought he sounded a little like Jeff Buckley!
Between Thera Roya and Think Tank I was left feeling like I need to step up my game a bit and get on the mic! Much respect to both of these guys- singing while playing drums is exactly as tough to pull off as it looks, especially when the music is loud and physically demanding.
Thera Roya are coming through Texas on their June tour with Foehammer– they’ll be in Austin on the 23rd at the Lost Well and Dallas on the 24th. I’ll be there and you should be too!
Huge, huge thanks to Think Tank, Thera Roya, Bill, Louis, Lesley, Nick and everyone else at the Acheron, and everyone who came out. This may have been the best show of the tour so far and made our hearts grow ten sizes!
Here’s how bad the parking situation was in Bushwick: Melissa and Jamie ended up having to sleep in the van at the venue just so that we would have a place to put it. But hey that’s New York for you, right? Ugh. The rest of us bedded down with John, where the next morning we enjoyed AS MUCH FREE COFFEE AS WE COULD DRINK provided we knew how to work a French press, which unfortunately I do not :(. Sam said the second batch was OK but he was just being nice, trust me on this one guys.
Our most heartfelt thanks to John and his awesome wife Stephanie for putting us up on a weeknight in what is easily the nicest apartment I’ve ever been to in New York. Life in NYC is hard enough without having a pack of sweaties ring your bell at 1:30 in the morning to be buzzed in. You guys are the best.
Next up: Boston!