Words by Steve Melone | Photo by Joe Papeo
The stage at Terminal 5 was littered with gear from left to right, making you question if anyone would be able to fit. A pink neon light hung on a red curtain in the back emanating outward with a prominent, “Houndmouth” on display. The band was set to play another show since their 2015 release, Little Neon Limelight.
To start the night, Lucy Dacus graced the stage with guest musician, Hayden Arp. She warned the crowd, “We’re gonna play a song we didn’t write, but it’s important to both of us.” An intimate opener that made you feel things inside, Dacus revealed that it was Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U.” The rest of Lucy Dacus’ band joined the stage as they went through their set.
Following suit was Rayland Baxter, who played songs like, “Bad Things,” “Olivia,” and “Mr. Rodriguez,” to name a few. A soulful singer/songwriter with the sound of years past, but with a modern twinge.
It was finally time for the main act. Gary Glitter’s, “Rock n’ Roll,” started playing as the members of Houndmouth joined the stage. It was something reminiscent of a sports team taking the field before the first pitch. Without saying a word they started the night with, “Black Gold,” getting the crowd into the spirit of the show real quick.
Frontman, Matt Myers had his collar popped and was well dressed for the evening. Two sax players in the back sporting fine clothes and fine beards stood waiting to use their lungs in unison. Though they had some extra musicians on the stage, one couldn’t help but notice the missing presence of Katie Toupin, keyboardist and shared vocalist who had left the band just weeks before the show. Though it was an amicable split it certainly was noticeable for Houndmouth fans to see and hear. The sound was still full, rich and from the soul of those on stage. They told great stories through their songs, just as any musician who considers to be part of the folk world in any minute way should.
They continued down the list of their songs, explaining the origins of certain memorable ones for them as songwriters and friends. “The first song I wrote is called ‘Penitentiary’,” Matt Myers said as he explained that the song is a tribute to Jimmy Rogers, a definitive influence. The crowd sang along, chanting “Come on down to the penitentiary!” The energy level was high throughout the night, making the night fly by too fast.
As they came to the last song of their set, drummer Shane Cody took the mic, “We got one more for you guys, thanks for making this one of our best nights as a band!” Houndmouth’s most recognizable tune, “Sedona,” started playing. The audience sang along again, screaming, “On a Saturday night!” on what was a great way to spend an actual Saturday night in New York listening to good music, good stories, drinking good beer (if you have good taste).
The band left the stage, and Matt Myers came out by himself for the encore, along with a semi-hollow white Gibson guitar, singing, “For No One” in the spotlight that vividly shot on him from the lights above. The rest of the band came back on stage to cover Neil Young’s “Motion Pictures” just after.
The last song of the night was, “My Cousin Greg.” The rest of the energy was let out from the stage and audience as the chorus started playing. Lights starting swimming and swirling this way and that, singing, “If you want to live the good life, well you better stay away from the limelight!” The energy and emotion was spot-on for this show, and well worth the price of admission. If you get the chance to see any of these bands perform, take it!
TheWaster.com | NYC