On a cold Friday night, the Lower East Side dive bar Home Sweet Home showcased the best of new and old underground music.
Old school blues punks The Crack Pipes headlined while the timeless NYC DJ Jonathan Toubin finished out the rest of the night spinning the most danceable records imaginable. But it wasn’t just these longtime cool cats that made this night extra epic. New bands also kept the night fresh and proved the scene is still very much alive.
This night marked Flasyd’s live debut. There’s nothing like seeing a band’s very first live performance to renew your faith in rock ‘n’ roll. With backing courtesy of musicians from Gnarcissists and Miranda & The Beat, frontwoman Syd Walsh took the stage with a drink in one hand and shouted “we’re Flasyd and we’re nervous.”
Despite the nerves, Flasyd put on a killer show of fast, snappy songs and displayed classic punk nonchalance and reckless behavior.
Next up was Vacay Ultra. The trio got together this year and only just started playing shows under this name this summer.
Vacay Ultra’s melodies are intricate but not poppy. Their songs were led mostly by the bass guitar or drums and topped by distorted guitar and striking vocals, creating a menacing garage/punk rock vibe. These guys are comfortable on a stage and had no problem losing themselves to the music and pogoing around.
The audience was a tough-looking collection of leather, chains and steel-toed boot-clad punks. But once they were warmed up by music and tequila, they were ready to dance.
The Crack Pipes have played their signature style of bluesy punk rock since the mid ‘90s. Their songs build to fast chaotic beats, sometimes ending on a wild harmonica solo or riotous distorted guitar shred. Frontman Ray Colgan leaped off the stage after the first song, inciting people to jump and dance.
Good thing too, because after The Crack Pipes wrapped up the punk rock, DJ Jonathan Toubin took over with Motown, doo-wop and old school rock ‘n’ roll that got everyone moving on the stage and every available space on the floor as well.
I got home around 6 a.m. with smeared makeup and legs sore from dancing. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.