By: Terrance Pryor
The Hush Sound decided to kick off their East Coast tour in the Big Apple last week. The band made their way to Highline Ballroom last time around and chose to upgrade to the legendary Webster Hall.
I've never heard of Lucas Carpenter before (two ladies in the crowd were yelling his name before he went on), but I immediately regretted not checking this guy out sooner after his set was through. The indie singer-songwriter, who performed with The Hush Sound later in the night, had a very unique stage set up. Equipped with looping pedals, the Nashville resident clapped, boomboxed and even used a flute to create his backing tracks on the fly. Carpenter jokingly called it "a magic trick" as he instantly garnered attention from the crowd. The charismatic gent even performed a new song about moving from New York City to Nashville because he didn't want to "live in towns that have been wiped out in big Hollywood movies".
When she's not rocking out with Chicago indie rock band Company of Thieves, Genevieve Schatz is out performing her solo material. Decked out in a sparkly dress, the bubbly singer performed some brand new tunes with help from The Hush Sound bassist Chris Faller on the piano. Neither of them were experts on the keys (Faller jokingly said, "We have two non-piano players on stage. Give us your sympathy."), but they definitely made some sweet melodies during their brief set. Genevieve's stage presence was like that of a Broadway star, so full of energy and life. The same could be said about her voice which was just as uplifting and infectious as her personality.
River City Extension wasted little time by opening their set with "Battle of Oregon" from their recent album Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger. Vocalist Joe Michelini managed to break his guitar strap during "Our New Intelligence" and "If You Need Me Back In Brooklyn", however, these usual stage mishaps didn't stop him from shining through. Violinist Rebecca Schlappich gave off high energy while Patrick O’Brien jammed on the keys. The band threw in a brand new song during the set, which was filled with some nifty Maracha parts. Sadly, there was little talking in between songs so the new song's title shall remain a mystery for now. The band ended their set with "Something Salty, Something Sweet", a closer that had the audience singing along to it's catchy chorus.
Opening with "Francoise Hardy" from their new album Wyeth Is, Portland indie band Hockey got the crowd swaying to Benjamin Grubin's every word. Their set that night seemed very mixed: some parts got the crowd really into the groove (especially during "Work") and other times their stage presence felt rather flat. This isn't a knock on their musicianship, though. The five piece act were very on point musically that night especially during "Too Fake" and their set closer "Song Away".
The Hush Sound started their performance with "Sweet Tangerine" and quickly followed up with "Honey" and "Not Your Concern". The crowd's constant handclaps and cheerful bouncing prompted pianist Greta Morgan to say, "Damn, New York City. You're making it feel like a Saturday night up in here." Unlike their last trek on the East Coast, the band had some new music to perform. They preceded to play their new song "Scavengers", which went over really well with their adoring fans. Greta and co-vocalist Rob Morris have the kind of stage chemistry that many newer bands seem to lack.
Greta talked about how a lot of fans tweeted at her with song requests all day. A bunch of tweeters got their wish as The Hush Sound went through the cut "Echo". Greta strummed the acoustic guitar for this one as the crowd sung along to every single word. "Not A Stranger", the second new song from their Forty Five EP, found bassist Chris Faller plucking some deep bass lines. The band turned their song "Crawling Towards The Sun" into one big reggae jam, which was a complete curve ball to the audience. "Momentum", another Twitter request, had Faller and Carpenter trade equipment and stage spots.
For the encore, a slow intro to "Wine Red" had the crowd hooting and hollering. The energy from the crowd increased when the song kicked into high gear. For the final song of the night, The Hush Sound jammed their way through "As You Cry". With the appropriate lyrics "So it's time to say goodnight and goodbye", the song was a fitting way to close out a fantastic night of music at Webster Hall.