Effective Immediately PR put on one hell of a Northside Showcase this weekend at The Knitting Factory. Side note, the Knitting Factory has recently gotten pretty low on my list of favorite venues in Brooklyn due to an unpleasant experience with the staff a few months ago, but this weekend was lovely and I was really able to appreciate the great sound system and genuinely cool light/stage plot provided. The Knitting Factory has the most professional stage and sound set up of any DIY venue in Williamsburg or otherwise.
When I arrived to the showcase bright eyed and bushy-tailed at 12:30 in the afternoon, the Vivid Dreams set was in full swing. This garage rock outfit sonically reminded me of Foxygen’s last album in the way they retained a loose connection to pop rock but with distinctively noisy and vague melodies. Vivid Dreams set made me feel like I was on drugs in the sense that it was very overpowering and all encompassing. I would definitely recommend them to those in the esoteric, indie rock camp.
Hey Anna took the stage next and certainly brightened things up. The room began to fill, a bit of an accomplishment for a show in the middle of the day. The group has beachy/surf rock influences, but their heavy Kim Gordon-esque bass lines and solid drum sequences keep them grounded. My favorite moments were when Erin and Anna sang together because they are magical woodland spirits who manage to retain an indie rock sound. There is a lot more to this band than their commercial indie appeal, evident in their lyrical content (“I wanna be a starving artist”, “we’re half asleep in a rainbow haze”). The band closed with a song off their new album “Don’t Talk Stop,” and I personally am looking forward to their July 7th release.
The Fantastic Plastics were up next, and they performed easily the strangest set I have ever seen live in an entire lifetime of living in NYC. They wore laser goggles, space suits, mad scientist wigs and their set was entirely electronic. An electronic Theremin made an appearance in several songs, which delighted the music geek inside of me. They labeled themselves as “music of the future”, which is definitely accurate, but what really got the audience dancing was their 80s electro pop influence and powerful, culturally relevant lyrical content (think “Video Killed The Radio Star”).
Wrapping up the show were Mayve and The Landing. Mayve was a great transition out of The Fantastic Plastics because while retaining similar influences and sparkly electronics, they played “real” instruments and had tender love songs (as opposed to lyrics about being a piece of data in the machine, like The Fantastic Plastics). These guys were a pleasure to watch and really brought the music to life on stage.
Closing out the show was The Landing- the soundtrack to a dream. Extremely smooth vocals, with dynamic stage presence. The band was very chillwave/MGMT inspired but with a more lively backbeat. They have a really great balance between music you can listen to while doing work and just relaxing, and music that makes you want to dance around.
What I would really like to commend EiPR on is their curation. With such wonderful bands on their roster, they put together a show that was truly for the fans. If you liked one band on the bill, you were bound to like all of them. This thoughtful booking tactic is something we all wish the NYC music scene would employ a lot more of. EiPR’s showcase was a great way to kick off Northside and I expect each of these acts to be playing the larger festival circuit very, very soon.
Written by Alessandra Licul