Tag Archives: Big Wake

@ Legendary Dobbs 3/8/13

There was prog if you wanted it, along with old-fashioned hard rock and some contemporary styled music as well at The Legendary Dobbs on Friday.

NYC’s Changing Modes, winners of the 2012 M.E.A.N.Y Fest competition, played with 2 new members since I last saw them (video  at Millcreek Tavern, Philly, 2011). In the drummer’s seat is Timur Yusuf, and on guitar is Denise Mei Yan Hofmann. Tonight’s show appeared to focus on material from the last 2 albums, and a few from “Down and Out in Shangri-La” 3 albums back. As always, Wendy Griffiths commands, and the effort is flawless. The chemistry seems good between everybody, and every note rehearsed well. it’s the little things that make the difference: the triangle, theremin (yes!), a coy Wendy donning pink sunglasses briefly in one song. I recall a song toward the end that was very insistent, almost had a Pixies feel to it with a solid lead/bass guitar bed underneath. Chris Panico of Once They Were became an instant fan. Wendy obliged by handing him a tambourine to participate with offstage.



Next up for this unique-sounding band is a Japanese performance showcase in Brooklyn tonight, then an International Pop Overthrow showcase in Manhattan on 5/5.
 Wooden Hez are Dave Pittone on vox/guitar, Alan Lee on bass, Stu Needel on drums. Alan’s powerful bass leads the charge with this local hard rock band. Dave’s strong, gruff voice helps to shape the band’s own sound. The songs seem filled with sad characters. They are playing small to mid-level venues locally, and are about to invade the South in April.
What’s a Nord doing in a jam-oriented rock band? Ask the man who owns one, or just go listen to Big Wake, who welcome this keyboard as one of their own. This Jersey City band has already made neighboring cities NYC and New Brunswick familiar ground. Tonight they played maybe 7-8 songs. They average about 5.5 minutes per song on their s/t album. Being fans of 90’s alternative and 70’s classic rock, they bridge the best of these worlds with a professional delivery. Much dancing ensued through the set. I chatted with James Rosenthal, who’s nephew Gerry is the lead guitarist and vocalist ( James, himself, is in an local alt-country band called Clarksville)
Once They Were, led by vocalists Chris Panico and Kate Coyne were reviewed in a prior post. Tonight was much the same fare, somewhat tamer than the other acts. They covered Nena’s “99 Luftballoons” and included a segue into The Buggles “Video Killed The Radio Star” on their last song. The bartender played up the choice of song, claiming that barely anyone in the audience would remember MTV’s first ever video from 1982. I find it interesting they have a penchant for New Wave music despite not sounding quite into that genre.
 Spotted in the audience were 2 members of the band Zer0 (who were part of Changing Modes’ billing in 2011 in Philly) (URL, anyone?), other friends of Changing Modes, and also Ron Bauman of Connie’s Ric Rac and The Discount Heroes.
And, oh, aren’t we a pair? Wendy and I, post-gig.