Cover the Crescent: Locals Own NYC Rock at Crescent Ballroom 7/28/13
Cover songs can be tricky business. Finding one(s) that everyone in a band wants to do and then executing it while attempting to pay proper homage to whoever or whatever reason you wanted to do it in the first place.
Mike Durham Michael Krassner and Shane Kennedy
Doing an entire set of someone else's music, though -- that's downright fucking adventurous. Kudos to all the bands that participated in Sunday night's Cover the Crescent event at downtown's Crescent Ballroom. Everyone rose to, met, and exceeded the challenge like serious champs.
Sweetbleeders kicked off the night with a Billy Joel set, opting for some interesting choices from Joel's mid-'70s offering Turnstiles. Even if you are like me and have never gotten into, or down with, the sounds of Billy Joel, Sunday night's performance brought those tunes to life in an honest, fun, and musically right-on homage. Singer Robin Vining was nothing but fierce as he channeled Billy Joel via interesting choices like "James," Angry Young Man," and "I've Loved These Days."
The band, complete with sax action, was righteous with big, impassioned arrangements. Not saying I'm gonna go rock a B.J. album now, but if I had to hear him, this was for sure the way to go.
Blues Oblique rocking Television was nothing short of outstanding, capturing the band's brilliance with songs from the timeless Marquee Moon and delivering it with real power and elegance. Hey, Michael Krassner on vocals and guitar, you are exceptional.
The whole band, actually -- but never having seen Krassner perform before, I was beyond impressed. Truth be told, I got chills during "Prove It," a song I've probably heard 5,000 times before; it was a beautiful rendition. "Venus," "Torn Curtain," "See No Evil," and "Marquee Moon" were also part of the set.