Saturday marked our first ever “Rukkus Presents” concert. We partnered with Pancakes and Whiskey to shine a spotlight on some excellent up-and-coming artists from the New York City area, and it was a night full of exciting performances and great music. We took over Brooklyn’s Cameo Gallery with a lineup that included Everest Cale, Pol the Fisherman, Seasick Mama and Rocket and the Ghost. You may recognize those names from our interview series last week. Saturday’s show gave us an opportunity to get to know these artists even better.
‘Rukkus Presents’ at the Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn
By the time Everest Cale took the stage, the room was starting to fill-in. Those who arrived early enough were treated to a set of classic-rock inspired jams with some endearing commentary from frontman Brett Treacy between songs. In an effort to set up each song, Treacy would offer a quick anecdote that often belied the mostly earnest nature of the band’s music–one song was dedicated to a great white shark named Mary Lee. Nevertheless, Everest Cale turned a solid set that highlighted Treacy’s howling vocals and a few searing solos from guitarist Jeremy Kolmin.
Pol the Fisherman:
Pol the Fisherman was up next, and the band’s blend of funk and punk rock was certainly a change in pace. Guitarist Andrew Moore warned the crowd, “I’m not as funny as the Everest Cale guy, so we’re just going to play our songs.” The band packs a lot of energy on stage, and the crowd slowly gave into the barrage of funky guitar riffs and started moving. Pol the Fisherman is multi-national blend of musicians coming together to form a truly unique sound. It is somewhat difficult to describe the band’s sound, but the most immediate comparison that comes to mind is early Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Seasick Mama was the outlier on Saturday night’s bill. While the other acts were more straightforward rock bands, Seasick Mama’s set felt the most like a rock show. Marial Maher had full command of the stage throughout the set and her band’s eclectic brand of indie-pop translated well to a live setting. It was interesting to watch Maher transform from soft-spoken Marial to crotch-grabbing Seasick Mama between songs. Maher recently told Rukkus she gets “a lot of comparisons to Karen O and Gwen Stefani.” That creates some lofty expectations for Seasick Mama, but it is easy to see where those comparisons are coming from after seeing the band live.
Rocket & the Ghost:
The evening’s headliner was indie-rock outfit Rocket and the Ghost. Of the four bands on the bill, Rocket and the Ghost have, arguably, the most polished recorded material. Unfortunately the band’s set was plagued with equipment issues that hindered the momentum of their live show. However, losing the band’s synth for most of the set really allowed Kiyoshi Matsuyama’s voice to shine through. Matsuyama’s high register has an eery clarity to it that sounds the same live as it does on record. The highlight of the set was the band’s stripped-down rendition of “Gold.” These guys were dealt a tough hand, but handled themselves like professionals.
Here’s to many more “Rukkus Presents” shows. Join us next time!
Article by Jason Schellhardt