Brooklyn via New Orleans band Blair began Monday night’s show at Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan, setting the tone with a performance one wouldn’t generally expect from an opening act. The sleek and sultry reverb-drenched vocals set against a surprisingly boisterous 3-piece drew the early comers from the downstairs bar to the stage. Blair’s sound and stage presence were a fantastic opening to a lineup including Yellow Ostrich, and veteran headliner Say Hi (formerly Say Hi To Your Mom).
Direct support Monday night was tasked by a band comprised, from right to left, of Yoko Ono’s ghost writer, a high school band drum major, and their electrician on bass. This was Yellow Ostrich, and to say they were the balls-out highlight of the night would be an understatement. Clever melodic structure and criminally resourceful use of vocal looping set off each of the songs dubbed by lead singer as “new stuff.” Even after forgoing a bass drum for a floor tom that rang like a timpani, and replacing the hi-hat with what appeared to be a pedal triggered octopus vagina, the drum arrangements for Yellow Ostrich were spot-on. The live presence of this band is undeniably infections; this is one New York trio you’re not going to be able to ignore in the coming months.
The primary draw to Bowery Ballroom Monday night was, without a doubt, Say Hi, a band in its 9th year and 7th full length release, founded and fronted by multi-instrumentalist Eric Elbogen (drums, vocals, guitar). While the band has many long time followers, most of the set was comprised of new material and did not cater to those who come out to “see the hits.” Except, of course, an encore performance of “Sweet Sweet Heartkiller,” which was met with thunderous applause and made for a terrific ending to the night.
Say Hi, Yellow Ostrich, and Blair will be touring together all the way down to SXSW next week and beyond, make sure to not miss any of these dates if you get the chance.
March 11 — Atlanta, GA @ The Earl *
March 12 — Orlando, FL @ Backbooth *
March 13 — Tampa, FL @ Crowbar *
March 14 — Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder *
March 16 — Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s Downstairs *
March 19 — Dallas, TX @ The Loft *
March 22 — Phoenix, AZ @ The Rhythm Room *
March 23 — Tucson, AZ @ Plush *
March 24 — San Diego, CA @ The Casbah *
March 25 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo *
March 26 — San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill *
March 28 — Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios *
March 29 — Victoria, BC @ Lucky Bar *
March 30 — Vancouver, BC @ The Media Club *
* w/ Say Hi, Yellow Ostrich