My first show in NYC was quite the success—and not entirely different from the venues/atmosphere I’ve come to love in Des Moines. Seattle-based band Science! took the stage at The Rock Shop in Park Slope (a really nice, hipster-esque part of Brooklyn that I wish I could afford). My concert buddy and I got there a bit early (read: two hours thanks to a time mix-up), so we got to explore the bar above the venue. The Strongbow (which I have had such a hard time finding here) helped harbor the homesickness that was quickly building thanks to the similar set-up and scene the venue had to the Vaudeville Mews.
After trying to bear the heat and sweating our asses off, we headed down below for the show. We were immediately met by the dudes of Science! right at the door. We got to chat for a bit while one of the openers (sticky sweet girl rock act Thick Wild) did her thing. For the record, they loved Des Moines and Fong’s Pizza, but who doesn’t? One of my favorite aspects of the show was the entourage they brought with them. Family of all kinds lined the seats in the main room. And everyone was instructed to buy vocalist Justin Stang’s dad shots—I wish I could’ve seen the outcome of that situation. The room started to fill as the second act took the stage—The Go Round; a hipster/indie group with a lady violinist and a wonderfully mustached man switching between a ukulele and a guitar. They added a more grassroots folk sound to the mix with frequent anecdotes in between songs. After a quick five-minute “no funny business” sound check, Science! jumped right into their first song. To be perfectly honest, I spent a lot of time watching guitarist/speed demon Jim Elenteny’s fingers fly over his strings. The result: Rodrigo y Gabriela-like chords with tons of finger-picking. I loved it. It was the kind of music that held its own—take the guitar out and you could give Justin’s voice a good listen solo. Kick the vocals and you’ve got the soundtrack for a quick summer drive in the country. But they’re so much better together. And the chemistry between the two went beyond the music—I’d catching them groovin’ in the same direction and manner more than a few times. Definitely check this act out.
All in all, a good way to start my introduction to the Brooklyn music scene—complete with the same crossed-arms-hipsters and head bobbers I’d see in Des Moines. Good luck getting into any semblance of a conversation with a bartender though. You’ll have to rely on the welcoming traveling acts for that.
Des Moines: What did you think of Science!? Let me know in the comments below!