Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Constellations, Hypnotic Hair & Cowbell Love

The Constellations: March 15 @ Bowery B
allroom, New York, NY

The Constellations from Atlanta kicked things off Monday night at Bowery Ballroom on a bill that included The Postelles and Hockey. When they first walked onstage, I thought, well aren't they a mismatched looking bunch of folks. But, you can't judge music by appearances most of the time so I was curious to hear what they sounded like.

Frontman Elijah Jones at times reminded me of a cross between Eddie Vedder (channeling Sly Stone and minus the pretentious air), Rob Thomas if he went rogue and some random hip-hop guy ... pick a non-hardcore one and insert name here. Then there were the two dudes that looked like Marshall Tucker escapees, a hipster looking guy who loved the hell out of his cowbell, two chicks with extra short dresses, the guy hidden behind the chicks that looked like he might have some pot to sell and a drummer I couldn't see. If they should happen to come across this description, they'll likely say WTF?! Exactly! That was my thought when I saw them. Then, they played.

Their music was a variety of genres ranging from straight ahead rock, to hip-hop, to soul, to dance with some Latin tinges. They mixed it all together and it worked well and they worked the stage hard.

I was on the verge of being hypnotized by bassist Wes Hoffman's 'fro glowing and shimmering according to the stage lighting. That is, until keyboard guy Jamie Gordon busted out the cowbell and proceeded to fascinate me with his enthusiasm. Can I be a cowbell player groupie? I'm just sayin', I'm down with the cowbell y'all. And, so nobody feels slighted, I'll mention the rest of the band by name. There's Ryan Davis (guitar/keyboard) the pot connection looking guy; Jason Nackers the drummer I couldn't see; Trevor Birdsong (guitar) one of the Marshall Tucker escapees; and, Alaina Terry and Shabnam Bashiri (backing vocals/percussions) the chicks with the extra short dresses. For the record, I have no idea if Davis has any association with pot well, other than knowing how to spell it ... hopefully.

All was going well and I was getting my groove on but then ... oh yes, there's a but! But then, they got to the last song which I got along with well enough at first. But, near the end, it kinda went wrong for me. I found myself wanting to scream out and beg, for the love of God, make it stop! Other than that, it was a high energy, enjoyable set.