Thao with The Get Down Stay Down @ Bowery Ballroom



Whenever I heard the name Thao with The Get Down Stay Down, I couldn’t help but think of emergencies: a fire, a bank robbery, an earthquake. And I always immediately envisioned a spin-off band Thao with The Stop, Drop and Roll. That’s probably not what the band was going for. But after seeing them perform last night at Bowery Ballroom, I am now having an easier time getting my brain to associate the name with the definition offered up by the Urban Dictionary:

get down (1970s American slang)
1) to party
2) to have sex
3) to dance
4) to abandon nonsense and confront

And a party it was. First there was a great opening set by Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers followed by an unfortunately less then great set by Sister Suvi. Then Thao (that’s singer/guitarist Thao Nguyen) with The Get Down Stay Down (last night, that would be bassist Adam Thompson and drummer Willis Thompson) took the stage. I was familiar with a few of the songs but for the most part they were all new to me. Even so, the songs still sounded oddly familiar. And they were all good. People were definitely moving a little. There was lots of clapping to the beat, and the few sing-along moments made me realize there was definitely “a following” there last night. I suspect there would have been more dancing had the floor of Bowery Ballroom not been so packed with people.

It was a collaborative night, as Thao joined Sister Suvi for a song during their set, and then members of both Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers and Sister Suvi joined Thao for a bunch of songs. So it looks like they’re all enjoying touring and playing together. Even though the show was inside, it kicked off the summer concert season as far as I was concerned. The sound was light, bouncy, and just plain fun. And Thao plays with a lot of enthusiasm and energy. Actually it would be great to see them at an outdoor venue one of these days. They are definitely a band to keep an eye on.

Sister Suvi + Thao:

Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers:


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