Words by Audra Tracy | Photos by Mark Dershowitz

Some things are just better in pairs. Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Benevento and Russo. Yes, the two childhood friends who cut their teeth together playing the basement of the Knitting Factory over a decade ago reunited at Brooklyn Bowl for Freaks Ball XVII, their first ‘official’ New York show since 2010.

Sure, you can catch Marco Benevento and Joe Russo collaborating in many musical side projects these days, but when The Duo shows up, fans hang on every last hypnotic note. And that’s why this show sold out so damn quickly.

Frequent collaborator and true NYC Freak, Scott Metzger kicked off his fifteenth consecutive Freaks Ball, playing an opening slot with his band WOLF!. Together his trio worked the early birds in the crowd, weaving mini-instrumental adventures together like on the set highlight, “Tomahawk Chop”.

Then, The Duo emerged, and the great chemistry lesson began. Facing one another on stage, Benevento (organ) and Russo (drums) cooked up a commotion, mesmerizing fans from the start with the firecracker, “Best Reason To Buy The Sun”. A few slow jams (“Sunny’s Song”, “Soba”, “Welcome Red”) filled the middle of the set before building up to beasts like “Becky”, “Scratchitti” and “Hate Frame”.

Without a cover song in sight, Marco and Joe captivated Brooklyn Bowl with rich, intricate originals, using only two hands and two feet. In fact, throughout a two hour span, The Benevento Russo Duo made every four-piece band out there seem lazy and uncoordinated. They should probably just book another tour, right?

Best Reason to Buy the Sun
Sunny’s Song
Walking, Running, Viking
Welcome Red
Scratchitti > Something for Rockets
Hate Frame
My Pet Goat

Play, Pause, Stop


TheWaster.com | Brooklyn