Some bands have a hard time translating the energy and excitement of their music to the live stage. This was not the case at the Bang The Gong Tour that hit Bowery Ballroom Wednesday night. The show featured the Paper Tongues, Neon Trees, Civil Twilight, and Me Talk Pretty.
I always try to get to shows on time to see bands, but a glitch in the public transportation system made me miss the openers Me Talk Pretty, which was a bummer. I arrived in between sets and heard that Civil Twilight was the next band to take the stage. The South African trio, Civil Twilight played a mellow set of bone chilling, piano melodies with somber drums and haunting vocals.
After a short set change, Neon Trees came out to a rousing crowd. They played an high-energy mix of pop rock songs off their current release Habits including singles “Habits,” “1983” and “Animal.” Lead vocalist, Tyler Glenn is a great frontman. He was all over the stage, kicking his legs up, dancing, and jumping on the monitors. My favorite part was when lead singer Tyler Glenn swung the microphone around his neck ala Adam Lazzara style.
Paper Tongues were the last band to play that night. The six of the seven members crammed into the dimly lit stage waiting for their cue to start. Lead singer Aswan North came out wearing white pants and a bolero jacket looking like a mix of Michael Jackson and a bullfighter rolled into one. While they played a short set, it was definitely an impressive one. The crowd loved their eclectic mix of rock, pop, soul, and rap. Their incorporation of various instruments delivers a sound that is both diverse and can appeal to a breadth of music lovers. It moved your soul and made you wanted to dance. North showed vigor and excitement in his performance even after getting a bloody lip from jumping into the audience to sing to the crowd. It was a great show!