The Mercury lounge is a mullet-like venue, bar in the front, concert in the back. Inside, the band members roamed around the sparsely occupied bar area prior to the show laughing and chatting with friends and fans. The informality of the setting added a nice chill vibe, and it was great to be able to see the band members hanging out right next to you, how often does that happen?
Upon Showtime, that laid back persona changed dramatically. In front of a less than packed house (it was Tuesday at 7:30, you can’t expect too much) the band put on a fantastic show for the privileged few in attendance. With middle school-like lighting and a miniscule stage, lead singer Walt Lafty put on a true rock star performance, bringing energy and talent that belonged uptown at the Garden instead of a bar in the lower east side. The band played with passion and performed upbeat songs like “Snitches” and “Whipping Boy” with fervor and riotous rock spirit that threatened to give life to the watching crowd, but to no avail. Despite the quiet audience, the band played for the love of the music and any observer could tell that there is nothing else these guys would rather be doing. The intimacy of the venue continued as Lafty jumped offstage from time to time coming into the crowd as he sang, showcasing a diverse range of skill and power.
After the band played their last song and carried their equipment offstage they mingled with the crowd as the next band set up. The up-close and personal relationship between the performers and audience made the Mercury Lounge an awesome place to see a band that I personally am a fan. With a bigger crowd, I can see the Mercury Lounge having a great atmosphere combining a friendly staff and a sociable atmosphere that let the audience become as much a part of the show as the performer. Automatic Fire showed professionalism and talent, played a great set, and I will see them again whenever I can and recommend that you do the same. You can find tour dates and more information on Automatic Fire at http://theautomaticfire.com/ and find out whose performing at the Mercury Lounge next at http://www.mercuryloungenyc.com/.