Live Show Review

We Banged Our Heads With The Step Sisters Until Midnight

By: Adam Spera

Pianos hosted some excellent music last Tuesday, May 10th. Mike Hubbard’s creative synth pop band performed for their second week of residency at Pianos, and they did not fail to impress. The band reaffirms their reputation as an extremely talented band that feels completely comfortable on stage. Not only does Mike’s band produce great music, but they also bring an atmosphere that engages the audience socially and musically.

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Tuesday began with a bang with alt punk rock band Michael Hanf. Beginning his set, Michael was noticeably struggling with a raspy voice due to an impromptu rock show the previous night. Regardless, Michael was able to perform great feats of lyrical expression.  The punk rock howls came through brilliantly despite any vocal issues Michael was claiming to be dealing with. Overall the band functioned very well together. The bassist was a wild man and the guitarist busted out some truly classic punk styles with a hint of an alternative rock sound.

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Seeing Made Them Lions at Pianos on Tuesday night was a real pleasure because it was their first time playing in New York City. Originally from Canada, M.T.L. brought an excited energy to the show. Everybody could see how pumped they were to be there that night and it really showed in their performance. Opening the set with a gigantic bass drum, lead singer Mike Valletta played a rhythmic, reggae style, drum beat that we could feel in our chests.  

Their songs like, “Crazy” and “Forgotten How to Dream” are incredibly catchy pop/rock songs that can easily fit into any popular radio station’s top 40. I think this band has a lot of potential, hopefully they get more exposure in the States in the near future.

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To mark the halfway point of the show current resident Mike Hubbard came to the stage. The show started with a heartwarming shout out to a long term friend of the band, Felicia, whom I also had the pleasure to meet. Mike Hubbard continued the show with crowd favorites like, “Well Runs Dry.”

Perhaps because they are a little more comfortable with the venue, they played better than ever. Each member has their own personality and their own moment to showcase their skills. Bassists Eric Messihi and drummer Patrick Moses from Mike Hubbard’s band later played for the next band on the set list, DAJ. This turned out to be a great opportunity to show the audience their versatility as musicians.

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DAJ (DeShawn Aaron Jenkins) totally changed the vibe of the set with their funky soul music style. DAJ began each song by telling a story. The band subtly supported him with a laid back rhythm and angelic vocals coming from his two supporting singers. As the story progressed DAJ led into the full song with the band right behind him. They brought a sense of gospel to their music which mixed well with the funky blues sound. Eric Messihi and drummer Patrick Moses showed their talent by instantly changing gears from pop/synth rock to soulful blues funk. All together DAJ accomplishes a spiritual vibe that adds a unique depth to his music. Definitely a must see performance.

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It is now 11:00pm and DAJ set a relaxed mellowed out vibe from his last song. I was getting ready to wind down with the last band and call it a night.

Little did I know powerhouse band Step Sisters from Nashville, Tennessee was up next. Loud, in your face, and full of passion, Step Sisters turned the dial to 11. Punk, garage, psychedelic rock and roll with a tinge of country badass is the best way I can describe this band. With the last of our energy we banged our heads with the Step Sisters until the show came to a close at midnight.

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Pianos hosted a great show as usual. From funky blues to country rock, the 5 band set covered a lot of ground. Thanks to everybody involved, see you next week!

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