Music lovers rejoice, I have returned with another perfect music pairing for the holidays! This past week, while getting used to the unusually warm weather here in NYC, I had the pleasure of attending a music performance by the band Marlowe Grey at Rockwood Music Hall. It was a lovely evening of harmonious celebration as the band were enjoying their “Midnight in Brooklyn” EP release of which you can hear some samples on their Soundcloud page! They also have a sublime music video of their title track, Midnight In Brooklyn, of which you can watch below!
Earlier that day, after completing some Christmas shopping at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market and grabbing a thick cup of Spanish hot chocolate, nothing prepared me for the great music later that evening. I arrived at Rockwood to a full house. For the first time, since I have been attending the venue, there were tables and chairs set up by the stage with a bar minimum tab requirement listed. I found that strange and even stranger when I found out for all guests; a minimum of one drink was needed for enjoyment. I gave in and drank a Heineken as best I could. Luckily, the crowd was loud and energetic for the thrill to come. Rockwood had a festive feeling as well with its holiday decorations up on the balcony.
Originally, I was worried that I arrived too late, but the band was busily just setting up on stage upon entering. For those of you who do not know about Marlowe Grey, they are a five piece group that consist of talented musicians: Anthony John Pietro, Angel Lozada, Trent Blackham, Alex Wirkmaa and Paula Croxson. Before they began their set, bandleader Anthony held up a birthday cake and announced they would celebrate the many birthdays in the audience that night following the show. After many cheers the crew began to play. They all started off with a slow groovy tune that had a strong rock underbelly. Might I add a hint of reggae thrown in there too?
I was happily surprised to see the lovely Paula commandeering the flute with ease! It has been a while since I have seen a flute in action with a rock band. As the tune went on, the guitars were allowed to strum and twang for ideal intervals. It was a soundtrack that could be played in the most urban of movies. Supported with a strong rhythm, the two guitars, supported by the bass, sent a vibe of pure ear candy throughout the space. Anthony was even doing a bit of slap guitar, something usually seen with the bass. That was a nice touch. Angel was successful in keeping the most addictive beat all night long. There was not a soul in Rockwood that was not tapping a foot or slapping their leg. Fans simply could not stay still.
As the evening went on, different variations of genres seemed to suddenly blend together. In fact, with some emo-like vocals popping out at one point, couples were even feeling the mood. Case in point, a couple towards the side of the stage could not keep their hands or lips off one another. Well done Marlowe Grey, you have unleashed some baby-making music ripe for the holiday season! Anthony’s guitar in these moments was minimal but fit in beautifully for the sound they were creating. Despite their simple stage presence, they were passionately focused on their craft. It was particularly nice to hear some instrumental jam sessions built into many of their songs. As fans were encouraged to clap to the beat, thanks to Paula, a bar crawl rock theme burst out of nowhere. With a dab of oil-dripping growls, Anthony won us all over to the melody. It was a collection of blues infused rock. Even Paula, with her tambourine was in the moment of this motor blues. Finally the group began to cut lose and bassist Trent started waving his full curls on his head back and forth with glee. Everything was flowing and the songs began to create a genre befit for long thinking sessions on the subway. Every moment that night was well worth it. They even, towards the end, had the audience participate in a vote for the final two songs on the set list. They rocked smoothly and ended with smash. Yelling and roars followed to what was a wonderful night of music.
For those of you eager for holiday tunes this season, Marlowe Grey can help you there. With their bluesy rock touched with a bit of indie madness thrown in, they will make Christmas shopping easier. Give them a listen and be sure to become a fan. You will be glad you did.