The sparkle of your China(town)
It’s always fun to spend a little time in Chinatown. Whether it’s to take in the culture, smell the garbage, indulge in pickle-back martinis, watch Derek Jeter bid his farewell to New York City (in historic fashion), take in a little bit of the old rock and roll show, or if you were lucky enough; all of the above. For many of us that was the program of events this Thursday last as The Ellis Ashbrook from Rhode Island (and Iowa) played their first area show in over two months.
What a treat it was to see the sleepy basement at Fontana’s come alive for about an hour that night. Headlining a full bill that included Alex Major’s side project Female, Ellis always takes the stage like they have something to prove. With the events of this past year, perhaps such sentiment is truer than ever. What is there to prove? A myriad of things even the best group of unestablished, yet professional young musicians must overcome and prevail against. Such obstacles notwithstanding, Ellis showed up ready to prove the undeniable; this band can rock. Powering through a set that mixed old and new without much room for slower numbers, this gig was about as straightforward as you can imagine: I like to call it the onslaught of HUGE; ear-damaging, skin-blistering, HUGE; the kind of thing that only good old-fashioned American rock and roll can conjure. The Ellis monster delivered on that promise.
If you missed it, you smalled out, homes. Don’t let it happen again. Next gig is on the road – sleepy New Hope, PA will endure Ellis again. Can we get a caravan together? We need to inject our fury into deep subruralia. Don’t miss it.
Thursday, September 25, 2014: FONTANA’S, New York, NY
Set: Desert Raft, Dig Thru, Mr. Anyone, A Shot > So Simple, Snakey Got Demonized Big Time, Off The Earth, On
Encore: Psychic Vampires
*Prior to show there was much banter, including Natalie attempting a few jokes met with criticism from an audience member, who was then invited on stage by Natalie to tell a joke. He did, and it was not well received. This whole scene prompted John to explain that the band does not mean to offend anyone with their jokes.
With brief intro jam
With drum solo
After Snakey, John and Natalie did the “Snakey is my boyfriend” routine
Prior to On, Jonathan teased Fly Like an Eagle on his electronic effects synthesizer
John jokingly attempted to play Fly Like an Eagle
There was some brief deliberation about what to play as the encore. Several audience suggestions were considered, and Psychic Vampires was chosen. It was called out by several in the crowd, but it seemed like the band was considering it anyway.
With atypical extended chaos jam led by John