This year, Deadbroke Rekerds’ recording artists, Fellow Project and Go Sell Drugs (Brooklyn) embarked on a Summer tour of the East Coast which landed them firmly on stage at Sluggo’s Vegetarian Restaurant sharing a bill with Will Gibson and Imaginary Airshow.
The first act of the night was Will Gibson, a local musician, who set up the night with a mellow acoustic set highlighted by a song he wrote for his mother.
Following on stage, were the rhythmic pulses of Fellow Project from Long Island, New York. Ryan (drums) and Tia’s (bass) driving rhythm section gets the balls of your feet locked and jumpin’, while Joe’s catchy single note phrases latch onto your brain and compels you to ping-ping your head around like the silver balls in the pinball machines I used to play as a kid. Ryan and Tia (married to each other) have a crazy musical chemistry onstage with his energy almost exploding to surface while she wields her bass (that is literally almost as tall as her) like a toothpick during their set. I only wish their set was longer.
Now, if you sat down on my couch and I told you to close your eyes and visualize true working class hardrock or punk, I bet you the boys of Go Sell Drugs would jump in your skull and burn a hole in your occipital cortex. GSD from Brooklyn, New York are for real. Lead singer and guitarist, Tony has all of the presence of tortured Social Distortion frontman, Mike Ness with the fire grilled vocals of Henry Rollins. Bassist, I-man and I talked about Wisconsin, Brett Favre, the high cost of living in New York, being hungry and life in general. Drummer, John even offered me his beer. One show away from the end of their summer tour and they are energized about life, their music and giving. This realness and ability to connect with people and the society surrounding us translates heavily in their music and show. Raw like demons trapped in hell for centuries, they don’t try to pummel you outright, they have fun with the music, but there is always evident. the subtext and venom scratching at the skin. With song titles like “Sorry the feds broke up your Indian Summer” and “Where have all the East Villagers gone” you better come prepared for some energy at this show.
Closing out the night, were Imaginary Airshow (Pensacola, Fl.). Piloted by several of the area’s hardest working musicians, this band knows how to invest all they have into their performance and connect musically with their audience. And when I say “connect” I don’t mean in the pop punk, hip hop way of call and response banter between audience and artist. If Imaginary Airshow were a lover, they’d be the girl that wasn’t needy and was so emotionally stable that she didn’t need your feedback for validation. She’s going to “do what she do” with or without you. Watching the band was almost a voyeuristic pleasure; craftsman in the dark, wearing black and their only occupation consisting of their tools and the energy they are creating.
The vocal lighthouse on this journey is Todd Vilardi whose moments of “breaking the fourth wall” are brief exchanges not to people in the audience, but the entire crowd as a collective listener/watcher. These short messages and moments are breathing while the lyrics take a break from dancing during the show. The weight of Todd’s communication is made more powerful by the focused intent of fellow musicians Gio Lugo (bass), Aaron Finlay (guitar), Brandon Warren (drums) and Sean Peterson (keyboard) Their quiet devotion to the music they play is matched only by the intensity by which they execute it.
And ALL of this for only a $5 cover! Bargain, indeed.
Drink of the night: Bottled Water