BeMo’s Bar hit borderline critical mass this past Saturday for the second HHM Indie Music Showcase of 2015.
It’s not surprise, really, considering the lineup comprised three of the most popular acts from HHM’s musical stable — George Morris & the Gypsy Chorus, Flint Eastwood, and Passalacqua. Three past headliners all stacked together? It’s a wonder BeMo’s didn’t crumble to the ground from the reciprocal flow of riotous energy coming from both the stage and the audience.
The night kicked off with the punkish sensibilities of Flushing trio Chalk Fight. Tearing through several originals, they also peppered their set with hardcore iterations of rock staple “Twist and Shout” and Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings”.
New to the HHM crowd, band won over no shortage of new fans.
On their heels came the shimmering, glam pop of Morris and his chorus. Playing a few new tunes, they whipped the crowd into a frenzy with staples “Girls on Parade”, “Habitat”, and the cinematic build of “Explode”. When they wrapped their set with signature cut “Fuck It”, a damn near transcendent level of exuberance occurred.
Following the chorus’s set was no easy task, but the phalange-firearm waving Flint Eastwood was up for the challenge. Simply put, the Jax Anderson-fronted quartet, with their spaghetti western proclivities and dance rock leanings, command an audience like no other. With the crowd packed in, renditions of the ramshackle “Shotgun” and the caustic “Secretary” got the blood flowing and sweat dripping on the dance floor.
Closing the show was the ever-groovy Passalacqua. That the duo of Brent “Blak” Smith and Bryan “Mister” Lackner merge smoothness with intensity so deftly is a spectacle to behold. Trading verses, igniting the audience in call-and-response refrains (“When we say ‘ice cream’ ya’ll say ‘Sundae!’”), bantering between tunes — it all served to infect attendees with their innate charisma. They performed mix of old and new material, with several songs from their more vintage soul-influenced eponymous EP and Zebehazy Summer LP to three cuts from their recent Church album.
With those cuts (“Credit Card”, the apocalyptic furor that is “The Baptism”, and “Liquor Store”), they were joined on stage by Anderson, singing the hooks. The zenith of the night (or early morning), though, had to be when they ended their set with “Been a Minute” then came back for a crowd-demanded encore of “Eagles Fly”, passing out their customized Tom Waits and Bootsy Collins masks for revelers to wear.
Surely, a new standard has been set for HHM Indie Music showcases. The next one is tentatively planned for Saturday, March 28.
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