There’s nothing like a show of musicians testing out new material to keep you on your toes.
This past Monday night at the modest Manhattan basement venue Berlin, Jonny Couch debuted his new tunes, Jane Church played songs off his upcoming album and the fairly new group Ego & The Digital Age made some new fans playing at the launch of the monthly dance party Je T’aime Oh No organized by Hayley Griffin and Bailey Leiter.
Last time BTRtoday caught up with Jonny Couch he was premiering a video for the song “Haunting” off the EP, Animal Instinct for Halloween. But now he’s gearing up to release his debut LP, which meant all new material for this show. (He played the fan favorite at the end though; the title track to the EP, “Animal Instinct.”)
For me, the night started off in a big t-shirt kind of way. You know, the kind where your uterus is trying to murder you and escape your body at the same time so you can’t give it any restraints or you’ll die. So I strolled up to the show in my XXL Shannon & The Clams t-shirt and a pair of my mom’s old black denim flares. I arrived right when the first band was starting, which is unusual for me and the first thing a friend says to me as I entered the place was, “wow, you’re here early.”
Some people may call it being “on time,” but yes, that was early for me.
However, I’m glad I was there “early,” because Ego & The Digital Age blew me away with their Velvet Underground-inspired vocals and gritty garage rock beats with a drip of flowery melody. One of the three guitarists would shred, while the other two would keep things melodic and light. Though their on-stage dynamic was slightly awkward, for a band that’s only been playing shows for about a month they were tight as ever. Even with some shaky dance moves and instrumental trip ups, the band swayed and played beautifully, and not to mention their fashionable ‘60s mod attire.
I ordered a beer while Jane Church set up and the growing crowd gradually got progressively more stylish. I was glad I chose my flares to pair with my oversized tee so I could at least pretend to be one of the fancy pants in the room.
Jane Church was another band that made me happy I trekked over the Brooklyn Bridge. I propped myself next to a column in the front while these rock ‘n’ rollers started their swoonable set. I say “swoonable” because I literally almost swooned. Now, I’m no doctor, but it was possible that I was just dehydrated and losing a lot blood, but I think the true cause of my near fainting spell was the music—that rock ‘n’ roll will get you, especially Jane Church. Each member of the quartet really grooved in their own worlds of sultry rock, bringing a unique style and dance move to the stage. The combo of eccentricity on stage with impressively synced up musicians made it nearly impossible to look away.
When Jonny Couch took the stage, his biggest fans weren’t hard to miss. Though Couch wailed into the mic, “these are all new songs,” people were still singing along to the choruses and shaking their hips none stop. He’s probably the sweetest power-pop punk rocker/ human being you’ll ever meet, so I even started to sing along. His tunes are just simple enough to learn the choruses the first time they enter your brain, but complicated enough to reveal the passion boiling under this beautiful soul. Plus, the bubbly melodies set to rock ‘n’ roll beats make it easy to fall in love with these songs.
The night was so full of excited music lovers hearing new songs and gaining new experiences, that even a girl like me dying in a big tee couldn’t help but dance along and absorb the delightfully dizzying vibes of the night.