Live Review: “A Midsummer Night’s Concert”


Post by Meijin Bruttomesso (aka, The Damn Sexy Scenester)

Last Saturday night, North 6th Street in Williamsburg overflowed with musical possibilities. I played my cards correctly and hit Cameo Gallery, the intimate hideaway space behind The Lovin’ Cup. With splendid sound quality and eye-catching décor, spaghetti-like strings draped over the stage, that performers enjoy swatting much like cats mesmerized by yarn, the dimly lit venue hosted a hefty line-up organized by CitizenMusic Presents: The Walk Ons, Raccoon Fighter, F. Michael Haynie, Lily & The Parlour Tricks, The Shake, and Chappo.

The Walk-Ons

The Walk-Ons - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

I’ve taken on a bad habit of a scenester, arriving late to shows now, missing the acoustic set by F. Michael Haynie before The Walk Ons ran away with my heart. Music that makes you feel warm and fuzzy, but also rocks, is a rare find. This quartet has found a balance between blazers, ties, and rock ‘n roll; their new EP, We Did This On Purpose, features a handful (literally five) tracks that elicit smiling, dancing, and repeating. Take a listen to my favorites, “Can’t Be Satisfied” and “State of Affairs” at

Raccoon Fighter - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

Raccoon Fighter - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

Up next, Raccoon Fighter, a trio of multiple talents, played musical chairs as vocalists/drummers/guitarists Sean Gavigan and Zachary Ciancaglini traded places, and bassist Gabe Wilhelm held down the foundation and backing vocals. Despite some amplifier difficulties, the three blues-rock gentlemen handled their run-ins with grace, and impressed listeners with their small band, big sound dynamics and selections from their two, new, FREE EP’s, Liars Feet and Terrified, available at In an effort to apologize for the technical snafus, Gavigan observed, “You paid ten dollars to get in, but you get eleven tracks for free!” Good point. My top picks include “No Lover” and “Rollin’ Wheel.”

Lily & The Parlour Tricks - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

Lily & The Parlour Tricks - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

Stepping outside for a long moment, I returned at the final two songs of Lily & The Parlour Tricks, barely able to fit into the venue. The costumed ladies had magically shoe-horned the sextet on stage and attracted an influx of onlookers. I am still disappointed in my concert attending strategies, but according to some reliable, musically savvy sources, Lily and company not only dressed to impress but astonished listeners with their vocal range, harmonies, and precision. Find out on how I slacked at

The Shake - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

The Shake - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

A favorite of the DFH’s and mine, The Shake, crammed the venue even more tightly. Their set gave fans “the hits” from The Shake Go Crazy, spotlighting the irreplaceable talents and solos of Eliad Shapiro, a sample of tantalizing new material with a dancier pop direction, and a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock,” featuring bassist Jeremy Stein on dead-on lead vocals. Probably one of their best gigs, these boys have honed the spirit of that “old time rock ‘n roll.” My Shake staples remain “Your Idols” and “Merry Musket;” decide which are yours at

Chappo - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

Chappo - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

Around 1 AM, I imagined I had begun hallucinating. Instead, it was just Chappo. The tri-member group floated onto the stage, donning feathers, capes, and feathered capes. The tribal influences were not lost on front row fanatics, who danced and chanted in a circle. I think one guy even commented on my lack of participation, “Come onnnn! Get in the circle! You’re missing out!” One lucky lady was crowned with an elaborate headdress from front man Alex Chappo. Chappo were pleasantly exotic and psychedelic to say the least, and I would enjoy seeing their spacey, Native American get-ups again. I’ve been rocking out to “Sci-Fi Bandits” and “Space Shoes” (Maybe I just like S’s?) from their Plastique Universe EP. Enter a new dimension at

I emerged from Cameo a “merry wanderer of the night” (Thanks Shakespeare!), satisfied with the full evening of memorable bands. Next mid-summer, let’s do it again!

-Meijin Bruttomesso, aka The Damn Sexy Scenester

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