I arrived at Mercury Lounge a good three hours earlier to have a chat with band leader Jordan Gatesmith worried that I wouldn’t make it on time. The F train was fucked. #NewYorkProblems I did though. Met up with our photographer Samantha Silver and hit up the publicist. We were introduced by her – Gatesmith is way taller than I was expecting – and we head over to The Library, since Clear Plastic Masks was playing an early show at the Mercury Lounge and we needed some quietude. We’ll be sharing the interview we had with them another time.
Howler was on stage at around 11:00 PM after their Minnesota homies, Frankie Teardrop, jolted the venue.
Gatesmith welcomes and thanks fans and opens with the punky ‘Yacht Boys’. The crowd seems to be simmering at first. However, by the time that ‘Wailing’ hits them the air of the venue has detonated. This concert has hurriedly turned into an obvious homage to rock n’ roll, as the wry and striking ‘Don’t Wanna’ is welcomed by fans. Soon enough Jordan Gatesmith announces, “This is ‘Beach Sluts’.” The crowd is very pleased.
Although Howler took something like a year and a half to complete World of Joy, it was totally worth the wait. Even though their set up: Jordan Gatesmith (vocals/guitar), Ian Nygaard (guitar), Max Petrek (bass/keyboards) and Rory MacMurdo (drums) has nothing fancy, they give some extra punch that is practically irresistible.
Howler also played crowd favorites ‘Back Of Your Neck’ and ‘This One’s Different’ which were celebrated with cheers and strong stomps.
Howler is one of those bands that have a slacker attitude, but that brings a galvanizing performance that is so enticing, so much fun that you feel like there’s still hope for the good old rock n’roll.
Photo by Samantha Silver