Hockey @ Mercury Lounge

11Aug09

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So I got to see Hockey perform last night at Mercury Lounge and I can definitely say I am a fan. I have to admit I only learned about them a week ago, so they’re still new. But I haven’t taken a liking to a new band in a while and I was definitely in need of a new one.

The band played for about an hour for a sold out crowd to promote the upcoming release of their debut album Mind Chaos. The crowd was into it and enjoyed the dancey music, but lead singer Benjamin Grubin commented that the crowd seemed quiet. Maybe it was the 90-degree NYC heat, maybe it was just that it was Monday, maybe they just didn’t know the band that well…or maybe they were just really pleasantly surprised by the music they were hearing. I’d say the crowd was supportive and enjoying it, and one person even seemed concerned about the band’s welfare as he shouted out to ask about their stolen bikes.

Hockey was formed five years ago in LA, but is now based in Portland, OR. In addition to Grubin, the band consists of guitarist Brian White, bassist Jeremy Reynolds, keyboardist Ryan Dolliver and drummer Anthony Stassi. Grubin moved around freely and playfully as he sang, with neither a microphone stand nor an instrument to restrict his movement. He did break out an acoustic guitar and harmonica at one point. A harmonica?? Yes, this band does it all—dance, rock, rap, country. It’s quite a mix.

Right now I’m hooked on “Too Fake” and “Song Away” and “Learn to Lose.” I’m looking forward to seeing them again at some point soon. I think they said something about returning to NYC in Oct or Nov. They’ve been on the festival circuit recently and they toured with Passion Pit and Friendly Fires. And they will be heading to Europe at the end of the month for a pretty busy month of performances.
Mind Chaos will be available on August 24. My advice: Get it.

ps–They get bonus concert points for Forest Whitaker Sylvester Stallone
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