Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nico Vega Turns A Cold NY Night, Blistering Hot

Nico Vega: December 11 @ The Studio at Webster Hall, New York, NY

Aja, Rich and Dan, the trio better known as California rock band Nico Vega, paid another visit to New York. The band took the stage at Webster Hall playing to a sold out crowd.

I fell in lust with Nico Vega when I saw them earlier this year as part of the Hell On Heels tour. These cats are crazy talented. I missed them the last time they rolled through town but I made it a point to catch this show.

They kicked things off with "Taxi Cab" which got an already excited audience in the groove. Now, I went in wanting to hear three songs. I wanted to hear "Fe Fi Fo Fum," "Beast" and their cover of "Maggot Brain." As far as I was concerned, everything else would be icing!

Can we just call drummer Dan Epand a beast? He was back there tearing it up. Epand's playing makes you feel like you should be falling to the floor doing some sort of spiritual hippy dance ... you know, the writhing, jerky, arms flailing Woodstock kind of dancing. The dude's heavy.

Y'all know I'm a guitar fan, right? If you didn't, you know now. Well, good gosh guitarist Rich Koehler rocks, rolls and sizzles. One moment his playing is all sweet and seductive, flirty and teasing. The next moment he gives you the equivalent of throwing you against the wall and having his way with you, dizzying and mind fogging. Then he's all sweet and gentle again before taking you over the edge leaving you a hot, sweaty, smiling mess. The man made me dizzy from start to feedback finish. My oh my, I just sounded like a dirty old lady talking about guitar playing!

Vocalist Aja Volkman is primal and a treat to watch perform. Sadly, I couldn't hear most of her vocals. At times it seemed as if her mic wasn't on. I'd say about half the time I couldn't hear her vocals and when things got really heavy, guitar wise, both the vocals and music sounded distorted. But, during the moments when I could hear Volkman, the lady burned.

They ended the night with "Beast" which is a big crowd pleaser. I love that song and it's something you need to see live. Hell, the whole show is something you need to see live. They played a mind-blowing, high energy set. The only disappointment was not being able to hear Volkman well enough. It may have been cold outside, but Nico Vega was hot. I had a great time and look forward to seeing them again.

"Fe Fi Fo Fum"