Words by Dan Schaffel

New York City – Any novice listener of Black Box Revelation could tell their show at the Bowery Ballroom on 7/18 was something special. Enthralling both the audience and themselves from the first beat ’til the last, the average Joe’s coming south of Houston St. for a quick thrill in the middle of the week got their money’s worth if they were in attendance.

BBR kicked their set off with a blistering opening jam to set the perfect tone, and this was merely the warm-up! Jan Paternoster (guitar/vox) wailed on his preferred Strat of the night, lighting the ‘forest on fire’ in the audiences’ minds. Onstage, he combined the live voices and personas of Mick Jagger, Billy Corgan, and Noel Gallagher – but singing seemed almost secondary to him, primarily focusing on just having fun.


Young drummer Dries Van Djick got our attention off the bat when he used his Popeye’s chicken-leg-looking shaker as a ‘drumstick’ in the first handful of songs. And his energy kept that ‘forest fire’ going throughout BBR’s riveting set.

The first time Paternoster took off his Strat, the crowd seemed curious as to what would happen next. His helping friendly guitar assistant then handed him the Explorer. “THIS ONE’S CALLED ‘HIGH ON A WIRE’!!” the frontman exclaimed, and we all knew we were in for their Letterman Show treat. The Black Box Revelation pounded straight through this rhythmic fist-pumper and foot-stomper, defining it as a cornerstone of their live show.

‘High on a Wire’ may have won the popular vote of the set, but it was far from their last gift. Shortly after throwing the Strat back on, BBR did an excellent rendition of ‘My Perception’, the title track off their latest LP.

Like Nashville rockers JEFF The Brotherhood, the duo did a great job of making a bassist seem unnecessary for their signature sound. BBR ended the night with Jan tearing it up, leaning off the front of the stage at times, while a multicolor strobe lit the rig in time with Van Dijck’s climactic beats.

The take-away from this night was something simple, though: a constant smile. This drummer never ceased to convey what pure happiness a performer can have when on-stage playing for an audience. The boys from Brussels, Belgium made us feel appreciated and fulfilled, paving the way for a great evening.


TheWaster.com | High on a Wire