Words & Photos by Marco Denzer

The cold chill of autumn finally arrived and sent New Yorkers scrambling for warmer clothing, but that didn’t deter people from going out on a Friday evening to enjoy a great show. At least that was the case at Brooklyn Bowl, where a sold-out crowd greeted The Growlers for the last of three consecutive performances in the famed Williamsburg venue.

At 7:00 PM the neighborhood was busy with people coming and going to the various bars and restaurants in the area, falafel and taco food-trucks were strategically parked on some street corners getting ready for the night ahead, and at the Brooklyn Bowl folks were arriving to see one of the most captivating and interesting bands around. Costa Mesa rockers The Growlers.

It was nearly 9:00 PM when the band took the stage and by then the excitement in the place was palpable. The crowd, well lubricated with spirits and beer at this point, let out collective shout of approval and pushed closer to the stage upon seeing the musicians. There was no opening act on the bill, so the band got right down to business on a lengthy set that included twenty-six songs from beginning to encore.

Impeccably dressed in dark polyester pants, red bowling league shirt, and a brown leather jacket with leopard print lapels, vocalist Brooks Nielsen and company kicked things off and swiftly grabbed everyone’s attention with “Drinking The Juice Blues”, an infectious song with a steady backbeat and bass line that is hard to resist. They didn’t waste any time in setting the pace for the rest of the performance and this was just the beginning.

With a signature sound of reverb drenched guitars, gentle keyboard chord progressions, and laid back rhythm section, The Growlers easily worked through the long list of songs. Skillfully selecting most of the night’s repertoire from City Club, their acclaimed release under the production of Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Chinese Fountain and Hung at Heart released in 2014 and 2013 respectively. Their music gently flowed and swayed between the 1980s disco era sounds of songs like “City Club” and hip western swing tunes like “Love Test”. The band masterfully blended the lounge infused vibes of songs like “Purgatory Drive” with the innocence and romantic elements of a 1950s style song like “Rare Hearts”… and the crowd loved every minute of it. There was plenty of dancing and good vibes throughout the room.

The Growlers will continue with their highly recommended performances on a tour, including several sold out dates, through cities in the U.S., Mexico, and Australia.

Drinking The Juice Blues
Big Toe
Dull Boy
One Million Lovers
Love Test
Feeling Good – Gay Thoughts
When You Were Made
Burden Of The Captain
Beach Rats
Purgatory Drive
Rare Hearts
Tell ‘em How It Is
Neverending Line
Wandering eyes
Change In Your Veins
Pretend I’m Gay
Vacant Lot
City Club
Chinese Fountain
Good Name (William Onyeabor – Cover)
Rubber & Bone
I’ll Be Around

Blood of a Mutt
Going Gets Tough


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