The Brooklyn Bowl is eight years old this year, and to celebrate its truly storied history of unforgettable concerts, the venue recently kicked off its Brooklyn Blast! series, an eight-night stretch of shows from bands born and bred in this city’s vibrant music scene. July 6 saw some of Brooklyn’s best players gathered together in Band of Changes, to open for the magnificent indie-rock trio Delicate Steve.
Band of Changes is a garage-groove rock project lead by singer-songwriter Chris Harford, and this night featured the impressive backing band of Scott Metzger, Joe Russo, and bassist Jon Shaw.
Harford is both a confidently savvy guitarist and a gifted songwriter, and his revolving door project, Band of Changes, plays through his sophisticated yet high energy material with a lot of gusto. Some of the material is very Ween-inspired, and a few tunes from this night harkened to that fuzz-guitar-god sound.
Band of Changes’ set off on solid footing, but then only got better towards the end of their opening throwdown. With Russo drumming behind Metzger and the guitarist’s Wolf! bassist, it should come as no surprise that they were a dynamite backing band for Harford, who mixed strongly with them to create both tight grooves and moody, lurid ballads.
By the end, Russo was flailing in his natural way, Metzger and Harford wailed side by side, and the band altogether reached multiple song peaks of sonic and vocal frenzy. Midway through, the band took a respectable cover of Talking Heads’ “Heaven.”
To those yet unfamiliar, the music of Delicate Steve is an oddly sublime, hybrid smorgasbord of dance, indie pop, blues, punk and old school rock ‘n’ roll.
Leading of course is Steve himself on guitar, behind him are his drummer and bassist, and most often it’s Steve’s lead guitar soloing that commandeers the feel and direction of the songs. Other times, Steve handles things with really gritty, yet pristine, slide guitar, set against his band’s dreamy musical backdrop.
Delicate Steve invited Russo up to the stage halfway through their set to join on a handful of songs, all of which rocked with huge and fantastic double drum action.
Later, the band hit a true modern rockabilly sensibility for a number of tunes, building upon a great energy flowing throughout the Bowl. At heart of which was an enthralling instrumental take on The Who’s “My Generation” that ignited the Bowl with excitement. Then for what Steve called the “last quarter of our set here,” The band invited up their dancer friend Joe (no, not Russo here), who provided some spirited visual antics beside the trio’s heavy and smashing end to their set.
For their encore, the band brought up a two-man horn section of trumpet and sax to compliment a soulful-turned-spastic tune to end the night.
Article and Photographs by Miles Hurley