Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Heavy Killed It In Their First Of Two Nights At The Bowery Ballroom

The Heavy: June 14 @ Bowery Ballroom,
New York, NY

The last time I saw The Heavy was in November 2008 at Mercury Lounge. I wrote about that show here on my little slice of internet real estate back then. I worked up a sweat wiggling and by eyewitness account, waggling. I waited for over a year to see them again only to have the show canceled. The show was rescheduled; I was excited to see them again. But, I got massively ill and couldn't go. To add insult to illness, they were playing everywhere during that week. I was miserable! Jump ahead to Monday night and I finally got to see The Heavy once again.

I stood front row at The Bowery, getting more and more excited as the moments went by. Sometimes, I'm nothing but straight up fan and good music makes me excited. The support band The Black Hollies played a good, albeit loud, retro-jam set. They left the stage and the set up for The Heavy began. By this point, an already sizable audience had swelled. It looked like a sold out crowd to me. The incense was lit. I remarked to my newly met acquaintance (thank you for helping me get the set list) that someone was going to light up soon. You could feel the excitement in the air or maybe it was just a group buzz from the pungent aroma of a fellow fans Mother Nature. I was right.

After much anticipation, The Heavy, Kelvin Swaby (vocals), Dan Taylor (guitar), Spencer Page (bass) and Chris Ellul (drums) hit the stage kicking things off with "Short Change Hero." From there they didn't let up. There was a change from seeing them the last time. They had Dap-King horns and back-up singers. This just added to their already bad-ass live sound. I didn't catch the names of the ladies that were singing but those chicks can sang! (** I have since found out the young ladies are Kimberly Nichole and Myoshi **)

The audience didn't need any encouragement to sing-a-long with Swaby getting excellent feedback when we were ask to yell 'what you say' during "Big Bad Wolf." This was followed by "Sixteen" a favorite of mine and led to an obnoxious amount of off-key singing on my part ... more than usual, that is. The only song missing from the stellar set was "Set Me Free" ... what's up with that? I forgive them though because they were all kinds of bad-ass.

Swaby is a true showman, working up buckets of sweat. Even when he wasn't handling vocals, as was the case when Taylor took lead on "Love Like That," he was still working the stage and the audience. "Girl" while not on the printed set list was added in and a good choice judging by the response of those around me. Just when you thought that things couldn't get more frenzied, they rocked out "How You Like Me Now?" Everyone went mad the minute it started up. I remember them playing this song back when I saw them in 2008, it seems harder and more energetic now then it did then. They left the stage temporarily before coming back out for a couple of encore songs.

Though they played fifteen songs, it wasn't enough in my opinion. I could have gone for another four or five songs. They are certainly a band well worth the heaps of adulation that was dished out by NYC. This is a band you need to see live. While their records are good, it's live where they shine brightest. The last time I wrote that they were "bad-ass hot stanky fun ... yeah, they're that damn good." I still stand by that assessment and I'll add to it, "holy hell, they killed it!"

And yes, in case you're wondering, they are HEAVY!

Set List:
  • Short Change Hero
  • What You Want Me To Do
  • Big Bad Wolf
  • Sixteen
  • Cause For Alarm
  • Coleen
  • Love Like That
  • In The Morning
  • That Kind Of Man
  • Girl
  • No Time
  • Brukpockets Lament
  • How You Like Me Now?
  • She Got To Go
  • Oh No! Not You Again!