Words + Photos by Steve Melone
As soon as you enter the underground lounge at Le Poisson Rouge you quickly become aware any show there will be an intimate one. A raised circular stage sits in the middle of the entire room with a piano resting upon it, fighting the possibility of a bad seat.
It was a fitting setting for Alexis Taylor to showcase his newest release, Piano. His sophomore solo record is quite separate in its sound and direction from other projects he’s been connected to. His music with About Group, and especially Hot Chip differ drastically in comparison.
At nine o’ clock Alexis quietly took the stage. No announcements or grand introductions, just a silent slide into a seat next to a piano in the middle of a room full of people. Simple.
After a small round of applause, he started his set without a word. He played songs from his solo work, including, “Without a Crutch,” as well as his single off the latest release, “I’m Ready.” Alexis even played Hot Chip songs, “Now It’s Nothing,” “Made In the Dark,” and “Boy From School.” Any electronic tunes were translated with the piano keys, creating a gentler feeling that kept the mood solemn.
Taylor made a note of the weather to the audience, “It’s so hot here in New York and everywhere right now.” At times he would address the crowd personally, though the music most important to him and his listeners. A sincerity and deepness in the music was palpable on Bleecker Street. No one gave it any mind.
Alexis asked the crowd, “Any requests?” People instantly started shouting, including myself, hoping to have their suggestion performed. He went on to play a version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In the Dark.” Prior to playing he admitted, “I don’t know how to do it on the piano but I’ll find out.”
The very hush attitude continued out of respect to the music, and musician. People ate quietly, the kitchen making the only audible sound that could be heard aside from the music itself.
Taylor walked through the double doors after his set, forcing the crowd to finally make noise that had been otherwise suppressed throughout the evening. He quickly popped back out and was welcomed back with a smattering of applause. As he sat in front of the black Yamaha piano someone yelled out, “I love you Alexis!” He came back, “I feel like I love you too, but I don’t know you very well.”
And just as silently as he had begun he finished, thanking the crowd, even hanging around to speak with fans afterwards. For the lucky few who witnessed the performance they got their money’s worth and beyond.
TheWaster.com | NYC