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Small Brown Bike / Bridge and Tunnel: live in New Yorklive in New York (2010)
Reviewer Rating: 3.5
Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)
While the Cake Shop is a wonderful venue, the absolute lack of ventilation was murder when Small Brown Bike graced the bakery basement crowd with their presence. The sweltering, unrelenting heat that hung in the air gave things an ironic twist if you look at it metaphorically--over the late '90s and.
While the Cake Shop is a wonderful venue, the absolute lack of ventilation was murder when Small Brown Bike graced the bakery basement crowd with their presence. The sweltering, unrelenting heat that hung in the air gave things an ironic twist if you look at it metaphorically--over the late '90s and early '00s, SBB became the epitome of Midwest, emotional post-hardcore punk with more of a wintry aesthetic than most. But by the time the band delved into closer "The Cold" (see?), at least three dudes up front had shed their shirts as they waved their arms and hands into vocalist/guitarist Mike Reed's personal space.
I respect Small Brown Bike a little bit more than I actually like them--they've influenced some of my favorite bands of the past few years. But I back their catalogue wholeheartedly, and was thus pumped to see them in, basically, a basement.
The Cake Shop's sound system was a hell of a thing during Small Brown Bike's set. Despite the basement atmosphere it projected every vocal and guitar line loudly and clearly--but that also meant you picked up on the occasional fuck-up that sprung up every now and then throughout their set, as well as enhancing the overall rawness in a slightly faulty way. But it didn't affect the performance in any majorly negative motion--and if you asked the crowd, they probably wouldn't have cared. About 30-40 packed into a tight space that couldn't have been much more than 30 square feet and were pretty wildly receptive to just about all the band played. What they did play was actually a pretty even spread of their discography--about two from every release or so. I did feel after the fact they played a lot of the more progressive, melancholy stuff, but it turns out only two from The River Bed and one from Composite Vol. 2 was actually played. Maybe they were adding some pedals to the older songs just to mix it up or connect things better.
But no matter the way they touched up any song, they played 'em all with a good fire and the necessary energy you'd hope they'd have after only playing intermittently these past few years since reigniting things.
Set list (11:34-12:21):
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