Words by Audra Tracy | Photos by Jeremy Gordon

At some point when you were a little kid, you probably told your parents that you’d like to run away with the circus. Because, at the time, the circus represented all the things you couldn’t find in everyday life, like magic, and animals wearing hats. But as an adult, your standards evolve, and it takes a special kind of event to bring back that old, familiar feeling.

Wednesday night my childhood wish resurfaced, and I’ve been day-dreaming about hitching a ride home to Austin with The Bright Light Social Hour ever since. The Lone Star rock stars gave the Empire State a lil Texas rubdown on 8/8, performing to a sold-out crowd at the Bowery Ballroom. With Echosuite and Black Taxi playing in support, TBLSH happily head-banged their way through songs off their incredibly catchy self-titled album.


If Echosuite’s glowing touch screen guitar or Black Taxi’s creative use of the American flag didn’t already get you going, the headliner’s opening melody surely sucked in even the wallflowers of the Bowery.

‘Shanty’ worked us into a tizzy before ‘Bare Hand Bare Feet’ officially sent quakes through the packed dance floor. Good vibes flowed so heavily that it seemed like each time Jack O’Brien (bass), Curtis Roush (guitar), A.J. Vincent (keys), and Joe Mirasole (drums) got deep in a groove, little rays of sunshine seeped out from their long locks of hair and spread throughout the venue.

Sure, we all stomp along to a good rock show, but TBLSH’s unique blend of traditional rock and ‘hard disco’ demands so much more out of its audience. This is the kind of music that makes your whole body move, the kind that syncs up with your central nervous system and produces a knee-jerk reaction of uncontrollably jubilant gyrations.

No, you can’t fight the Bright Light. And why would you want to?


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