I dream of the Caribbean, the water, temperature, the people and landscape. The warm salty breezes and feeling of an endless summer. Last night in NYC eclipsed that frequent dream; a perfect summer night filled with music, cool breezes and some of the best of what makes New York so special. A couple of us fanned out to make the most of the perfect summer evening. Don Saas caught Modest Mouses impeccable performance in the Prospect Park Band Shell and I did the Manhattan crawl cramming X Ambassadors, Milky Chance and Courtney Barnett into one evening. X Ambassadors and Milky Chance took over a packed Central Park Summerstage and Courtney Barnett overwhelmed Terminal 5 with a worshiping audience.
It is time for X Ambassadors to take the lead slot. As an opener their performance feels rushed as they cram all their large emotional themes into a truncated time slot. Sam Harris can write a song that brings our feelings rushing up to surface and raise goose bumps. The audience sang the entire first refrain of Unsteady to the amazement of my companion - "These guys have fans." They now need more time to let their highly charged show breathe and evolve.
Side note -- they need to up their merch game, their offerings were slim and could use a designers touch.
Milkly Chance is a perfect warm summer evening act. His stoner euro reggae vibe went perfectly with the brilliant sunset. Bros with their girlfriends in cute rompers vaped their favorite something and let his tunes wash over them as they swayed in time.
A power walk down and cross town later, the Courtney Barnett faithful were packed to the roof of Terminal 5. To be frank, I was the skeptical of the buzz and hype surrounding her. She walked onto stage and opened her set alone and stole my heart. The venue was dead silent and transfixed by her performance. Poise, Confidence and Courage all in one moment.
This was truly a rare moment.
The evening was capped with a ride home along the Hudson with the moon shimmering over the river.