Live Review: CitizenMusic Presents “The Theatre Shows”

I got this email from the guy who runs CitizenMusic [Presents] inviting me to something they put together called “The Theatre Shows.” Wouldn’t you know that this dirty fucking hipster was one sick dog this whole week? Fuck. Couldn’t get to Titus Andronicus – and everyone who reads this blog knows how much I wanted to post something overly-malicious about their performance – nor could I get to see one of my favorite bands in town, Black Taxi who were headlining the three nights of The Theatre Shows. Whoever these CitizenMusic folks are, they sure have their hands in some killer shit. I’ve been holding onto a review I wrote of one of their bands, The Shake, for well over a month now because their manager doesn’t think it’s “the right time to release a review.” Usually I’d say he was just another industry pig, but through several months of correspondence I’ve gotten to know him as a pretty good dude with good taste. Anyway, this paragraph is way too long already, I’ve just got to stop.

As fortune would have it, I was sent these reviews from Meijin Bruttomesso at The Deli Mag. She reviewed the shows, and now I’m sharing those reviews with you. I’m also kicking myself for not loading up on Vitamin Q and getting my dumb ass to these shows; seems as though they were pretty damn good. Fuck me.

The Theatre Shows: “Masquerade Ball”
Old Wives, The Shake, and Black Taxi, Live at The Players Theatre

Black Taxi Headlines All 3 Nights at The Theatre Shows

Black Taxi Headlines All 3 Nights at The Theatre Shows

On March 4, Greenwich Village’s Players Theatre bustled with feathers, masks, and glitter, for the “Masquerade Ball,” the first of CitizenMusic’s Theatre Shows. Verona, New Jersey’s Old Wives, a jazzy, funky, and soulful quintet, brought swing and sway to the sold-out venue with bluesy jams and a swanky sass. Although seating was available, the audience could not be restrained, especially when The Shake appeared. Masked and made-up, the four New Yorkers blasted through an explosive set, accompanied by confetti cannons, unstoppable noise-makers, and a slinky dancer, armed with flashlights for their final “Got No Soul.”

The Shake at The Theatre Shows: Night One - Masquerade Party

The Shake at The Theatre Shows: Night One - Masquerade Party

Closing opening night, Brooklyn’s Black Taxi energized the audience to a climax, as masqueraders, whether first-timers or devout fans, formed a fire-hazard in the aisles, dancing to newly debuted tunes as well as released favorites. The three exceptional bands joined center stage for a full-cast bow, and despite some sound kinks, expected from first-night jitters, the music set the bar high for the two subsequent shows.

The Masquerade Party

The Masquerade Party

http://www.myspace.com/oldwives
http://www.myspace.com/theshakeband
http://www.myspace.com/blacktaximusic

The Theatre Shows: “Prohibition Night”
Black Taxi, Apollo Run, and Milo and the Fuzz, Live at The Players Theater

Prohibition Night

Prohibition Night

The second of the three Theatre Shows, “Prohibition Night” commenced copacetically with the bees’ knees, Black Taxi. Due to the previous evening’s wild festivities, the joint encouraged dames and daddies to stay nearby their seats, but rules at a rock show proved baloney. The four Black Taxi members promenaded down the aisle with guitar and tambourine in hand, and flasks in pocket, before stepping on stage for an electrifying set that naturally brought flappers and bootleggers out of their seats and into the pit. Apollo Run, donning fedoras and suspenders, captivated with their impressive vocal range and nuance, and powerful lead keyboard. At the end of their set, the trio mingled with the audience and mounted the arms of the theater seats to serenade the front rows. Last but not least, Milo and the Fuzz, another band of three cool cats, played with a confidence beyond their age and put on the Ritz, wrapping up night two with a swell performance.

Prohibition Night - Milo & The Fuzz

Prohibition Night - Milo & The Fuzz

http://www.myspace.com/blacktaximusic
http://www.myspace.com/apollorun
http://www.myspace.com/miloandthefuzz

The Theatre Shows Night Three: “Post-Modern (PoMo) Night”
New Madrid, Toy Soldiers, and Black Taxi, Live at The Players Theater

The finale of the series on March 6, “PoMo Night,” featured an anything-goes, get-creative theme, that encouraged outfits which would normally not leave the house. First up, New Madrid, cleverly fusing Spanish and English lyrics performed with an intensity that surpassed the sound of three, and engaged the bizarrely dressed crowd with adrenaline-infused rock. During “La Araña,” the band even tossed out creepy crawly souvenir spiders.

PoMo Night - New Madrid

PoMo Night - New Madrid

Toy Soldiers, out-of-towners from Philadelphia, brought a classic, rootsy vibe and a standout brass section that left listeners swooning. Still standing after two raucous shows in a row, Black Taxi amped up the pace with perfected sound, riling up the off-runway-styled audience that demanded multiple encores. As the imaginary curtain closed and reopened, the leading men from the bands throughout the weekend reunited for one more celebratory bow before an exeunt omnes. The Theatre Shows’ all-around success promises a repeat of the event and proves that New York is home to pre-eminent music and original acts.

The bands take a bow together

The bands take a bow together

http://www.myspace.com/newmadridmusic
http://www.myspace.com/ohnotoysoldiers
http://www.myspace.com/blacktaximusic

-Meijin Bruttomesso

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