Some nights, there are just too many shows in Brooklyn. I’m not complaining! But it’s a blessing and a curse — obviously, it’s great because you get to see so many awesome bands, but the downside is that you have to make some tough decisions. Imagine the agony you go through choosing between what artist to check out at a festival, and apply that to your typical Friday night. Argh. There were three other ace lineups last Friday night, but I ended up at Shea Stadium for a Colleen/Upset/Charly Bliss bill, mainly drawn because I was hit so hard by Green’s fantastic I Want To Grow Up from earlier this year and I wanted to see how it would translate live.
Let’s go in order: You may not have heard of Charly Bliss yet, but you definitely will soon enough. I’ve seen them live three times over the past few months, and each set has been better than the last. They bring such an infectious energy to the stage every single time. Fronted by Eva Hendricks, who jumps around the stage and gives it her all for every song, the band rolled through a mix of new tracks from their forthcoming debut and a few old favorites off their string of Bandcamp releases. You could tell at the beginning of their set that most of the audience wasn’t familiar with the band, but by the end, they were all converts.
Green took the stage next, with only her guitar and a drum machine in tow. It took a few songs to get the sound balance between the two just right, but Green has such a charismatic stage presence that I was fine with the bumpy start. Once she got roaring, though, she didn’t let up — the I Want To Grow Up tracks are so insular yet so large at the same time, and it somehow felt appropriate that Green came in solo. I’d still love to hear how they sound with the powerful backing of a full band one day, but for now it definitely sated my curiosity. It was a mellower set than I was expecting, but the songs were strong enough to hold it together.
Upset brought the show to a close, and provided a fuller spectrum of energy to serve as a capper for the night. Fresh off the release of their new ’76 EP, the band played their set like a bunch of seasoned pros. Which they are — made up of a veritable treasure trove of California punk greats, from former Hole drummer Patty Schemel to frontperson Ali Koehler, once of Vivian Girls and Best Coast. They brought a little sun and a lot of pathos to a still-chilly East Coast night, and the audience was all the better for it.
And, in true Brooklyn fashion, I managed to rush over to another venue after the show ended to see a secret Girlpool set before the night was through. All in all, a good time.
Colleen Green mailed us her zine titled Celebrity Encounters: An illustrated chronicle of celebrity sightings in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Here’s a sample page.