On Jan. 18, Pancakes and Whiskey, Buzzchips, and Greenpointers hosted a night jam-packed with live music. Four bands based in New York City performed in Williamsburg’s Cameo, a bar with a small, intimate venue at the back. The four bands on the bill were Adiós Ghost, Youngman Grand, Folding Legs, and Canon Logic.
The first on the bill was Adiós Ghost, an indie rock outfit with elements of psychedelic rock and avant-garde pop.
The band performed their 2012 track, “Nameless,” a vibrant folk-laced stomper with abstract proclamations like, “It’s all about survival baby/I don’t need your fossils of fury.” They also ran through their latest single, “Splitting Glass.” The single features the band at its finest, mixing dreamy reverb with hypnotic vocals.
Lead vocalist and guitarist, Ben Sigerson, drew the audience closer to the stage with his evocative voice. Percussionist A. Leow added tension with his electronic synth drum.
Adiós Ghost uses the stage to showcase the serious anxiety and endearing playfulness in their songs. Leow’s drumming pulls and pushes the melodies on the track; the four members, who feature guitarist Jimmy Stull and bassist Simon Davenport, sing in harmony, adding wild, weary, and wistful tones to their music. The band also made light of their image and mood, declaring: “Language professors hate us.”
Youngman Grand, a five-piece alternative rock band with a hard rock edge, then followed Adiós Ghost.
Youngman Grand’s songs were strung together by constant feedback, which snaked one song with the other. The lingering notes spilled into introspective tracks like “EARTH” and “Calmxxx.” On the former of the two, the band mixed multiple layers to evoke a song that was always leading somewhere—without ever arriving.
The band’s closer, “Jesuxxx,” was the most intriguing song on the set. Centered on a well-written and hard-hitting riff, the band inched towards alternative metal with “Jesuxxx.”
Youngman Grand’s most recent release, the 2013 self-titled LP, builds on this live ambience. “On Bust” is carried by a beautiful, haunting string arrangement. “Stop/Start Feeling” brings with it a sense of dread.
Youngman Grand’s music—both on the stage and in the studio—aptly paved the way for Folding Legs.
Folding Legs took the stage with palpable energy, hammering through the opener “All the Time in the World.” Lead vocalist Katharina Stenbeck covered her face in a black cloth; the audience at Cameo could still hear the sneer in her face. The rest of the band added to Stenbeck’s performance: Chris Cenny’s guitar snarled during “Glorious” and “Drown in Light.” The band’s performance of “This Glass House,” which opens their 2013 EP, Drown in Light, was structured on the rhythmic flow between bassist Greg Henits and drummer Jesse Richman.
Folding Legs’ also mixed music and performance art. Near the end of the set, Stenbeck donned a massive red mask. The red matched the paint on her hands, which also serves as the cover of Drown in Light.
The art rock embedded in Folding Legs’ alternative grooves shaped the energy for the final act, Canon Logic.
The five-piece band structures their live performances on energy, connection to the audience, and well-composed songs. The band’s most recent music video, “Mountain,” exhibits the group’s creative stamina. The video ends with the burning of a piano.
Canon Logic’s live performance was just as fiery. The band pummeled through larger-than-life tracks; the audience, in turn, danced and cried. Their set included the songs off the band’s most recent release, the 2011 EP Rapid Empire, and an exceptional performance of “Mountain.”
Canon Logic’s live message is quite clear: the band’s songs are elaborate experiences, well composed and deeply felt, and anticipate larger venues across Brooklyn and the rest of New York City.
Article by Pamela Segura
Photos and video by Shayne Hanley