Show Review – Sabbatical Year


Brooklyn has come to save the day once again. Listeners and wanderers alike were striving for a new venture to explore and luckily one such venue offered some sweet respite. The Paper Box, located in the midst of of dark warehouses and scattered art studios such as the hip Holyrad Studios, was not the average musical hot spot for a blistery Wednesday night. It was to be the last remnants of winter and would not be missed. However, folks who were attending the events of the evening were eager for the showcase of Sabbatical Year’s new upcoming album release, ‘Metropolitan’ alongside a paired photography exhibition. Musicians, R. Garcia and All The Hintz were there to support all the way.

It was an unusual trek out to the dark world of Brooklyn that sent chills to the bone. For most of the time, listeners were alone on the empty streets. Luckily upon arriving, the overly kind bouncer greeted everyone and the rest of the adventure was a piece of cake. The space, which usually holds various artistic events like the Rock n’ Shop, was made clear for audience members to congregate easily on the floor. Dance lights were flickering and glowing all over the room to give some extra ambiance for the few people who lingered from the onset. Against the wall a table was set with framed photographs that helped inspire the creation of the album. Already, it was nice and toasty inside for people to relax a bit. The bar was lit up in a pale yellow glare and a collection of kegs were sprawled against the brick wall just waiting to be drained. Cliques of people huddled together and eyed the other groups with curiosity as they sipped their drinks. An occasional laugh and intermittent chatter permeated the deafening silence.

People seemed to wander all over the concert hall anxious to cure the boredom with exploration. After both R. Garcia and All The Hintz were finished with their sets, with hilarious banter between the audience being their gift other than their music, Nick Margiasso took the stage with Randy Garcia in tow with his bass. However, the bass was not to be Randy’s only instrument that night as he wielded immense control over the computer technology with endless added sounds. People cheered them on and were extremely happy. Amidst the chatter there was an optimistic and positive vibe as the men took their time setting up. Nick lit some prayer candles on stage and then things were ready to take off.

Even though Nick was the only official member of the original band performing, the music remained in the same vein as its past discography. From the inception a twinkling ethereal bit flew outwards. When the powerful undertow of the bass entered the sound, the walls and floor shook. Every bit of the space reverberated with unbelievable strength. It was amazing that the building did not crumble because of it. There was an ever present pulse of a thump growing from the musical clash. There also may have been some prepared loops that chimed in to match Nick’s clear vocals. His eyes were closed when he sang with obvious passion as he gripped his microphone. Elegant echoes followed each lyric and the music was in full force. Nick made sure to land specific emphasis on every lyric he sang. The men were jamming in style and with elevated articulation. A solo project in many ways, there was a combination of musical technology and shared instrumentation between them both. Synth power was held in the soul of the music. All eyes were glued to Nick as he sang his heart out while grappling with vigor on all the objects in his vicinity.

When his hands were not on the microphone stands, they were expressive and waving in the air to each tune. He was the master of the musical domain and he frolicked from the drums, tambourine, maracas and vocals with ease. He even had a relaxed flow with each transition. At times, the music turned into somber shoe gaze-pop with the bass bellowing hard. Most of the songs had a similar beat but was profound on the importance of a one of a kind journey. Folks were on it whether they knew it or not. Silence among the crowd was palpable until the end of every tune of which applause happily followed. A trance usually took hold during the set flow.

Towards the end of the night, chaos ensued as an eruption of noise exploded to the ears of many. In the middle of that rambunctious thunder, Nick’s voice rang true with lasting reverence. He had a bounce to his step next to his music. A church-like organ drone started and an electric choir unveiled themselves. There was a Sabbatical Year sermon taking place at The Paper Box. Finally, a good solid jam session began collectively bringing thought-provoking music into the fold. Nick’s cymbals fell off their stand, he almost tripped over his microphone cords and sang with two stands in hand to end the show with a clamor of excitement. Folks looked on laughing and applauding. Nick looked like he had a ball grinning with glee. Sabbatical Year’s music was equally captivating with their unusual sounds as well as Nick’s antics on the live performance.

Jam On.