Barcelona is a band that I’ve been following for years but sadly I’ve only been able to see perform live once before. It’s been 2 years since the Seattle, WA band has been to NYC, and we were sure to give them a grand welcome back Saturday night at Mercury Lounge.
The chilly weather was no match for the fans that lined up for the late late show. Standing next to a young friendly couple who expressed their unpreparedness for the brisk autumn air, they talked to me about how they saw Barcelona as an opening act and “instantly fell in love with them.” This is the story of so many Barcelona fans over the years. There’s just something about this band that grabs onto you and doesn’t let go.
Opening the night, Philadelphia band, Bel Heir revved the crowd up with their alt-pop sound. The band has rightfully earned their spot, having released 2 track digital tracks every month since last spring, and will continue to do so for a full year. The lead singer, Patrick Mencel’s had amazing soaring vocals that I easily imagined stadium of people singing along to one day. With their work effort and solid tracks, Bel Heir is definitely on the right path. Keep an eye out for them in the future.
As the members of Barcelona readied their instruments for their set, lead singer Brian Fennell was super approachable, taking time to smile and talk with people in the front row. No dramatics or dimming of lights to signal the start of the show. The transition was easy and it felt like slipping on your favorite headphones and drowning out the stresses of every day life. For an hour we all forgot about the world and listened to Barcelona play their music, new and old. Newer songs like “Cure” and “Evermore” clearly found their home in everyone’s hearts as we all sang along. The night couldn’t end without a song from the band’s first album, “Absolutes” called “Please Don’t Go”. I couldn’t even tell you how many times I played this song over the course of 2009-2010. It’s one of those songs that girls (ahem, myself included) would play after a breakup.
Although the band’s sound has changed over the years, the emotional connection we all have to the songwriting and honesty in their live performance is what keeps us connected. Truly excited to see what’s to come.
Article by: Lesley Keller
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