Sunday, October 19, 2008

Concert Review: Hot Seconds

Hot Seconds: October 18, 2008 @ Mercury Lounge, New York, NY

I took a trip over to the lower East side to see local band Hot Seconds at the Mercury Lounge. For those unfamiliar with the venue, the outer bar area is narrow and packed. The drinks are cheap and strong. The performance room is an intimate space, with good sound, that holds two hundred and fifty people though I question that! It's the perfect place to see a band.

This was a band I was
looking forward to seeing. Their album has become one of my favorite releases of the year. So, I wanted to see what they were about live. Well, I wasn't disappointed! These guys were spot on blazing through an eleven song set like men on a mission.

The show kicked off with a fiery "Pieces Of You" which for me personally, was appropriate. It after all was the song that drew me to them in the first place. Live, the song had the same effect on me as the album version did the first time I heard it ... sucked me in and wouldn't let go. It wa
s the perfect set up for the rest of the show.

Hot Seconds are a tight unit. The songs from their self-titled debut album were effortlessly brought to life in splendid fashion. They played with an air of unpretentious co
olness that displayed their confidence and talent.

The band seemed content allowing their front man, James Love, to be the animated one
mixing awe shucks charm with a little bad boy attitude. Love was vocally solid though during a couple of the more guitar heavy parts he was a little hard to hear. Guitarist Eran Westwood was marvelously tasteful displaying a quiet charm and seemed to be enjoying himself if the smile he flashed from time to time throughout the show was anything to go by. There were no gratuitous self-indulgent guitar moments, just perfectly placed leads and fills. This was particularly evident in "Pieces of You" and the back to back one two punch of "We Met Before" and "Rooftop."

Bassist, Bob Troia and drummer, Ian Hudgins held things together with their steady flawless thumping rhythm. Keyboardist Marcel Simoneau was on the far side of the stage where I really couldn't see him behind his setup. His bits and fills blended in so perfectly with the guitars at times I had to remind myself it was him.

They broke out a new song, "Gone To Ground," which was quite good. I would enjoy hearing a recorded version of the song. They ended the show with "Went To India" a perfect ending for me. With three other bands on the bill, I hadn't expected them to play as many songs as they did so I was pleasantly surprised at the length of the show.

Overall, the show was upbeat and they kept your head bobbing along non-stop from beginning to end. Hot Seconds are a terrific live band. If you like well-written, well-played songs, this is the band to see. Catch them while they're still playing intimate venues ... you may have regrets later if you don't.

Set List:
  • Pieces Of You
  • Excuse Me
  • Individual
  • Clam Man
  • We Met Before
  • Rooftop
  • Tear Drop
  • Can't Stop
  • Holy Moly
  • Gone To Ground
  • Went To India
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