El Modernist, North By North (Chicago), E.R.I.E., and Haley Moley all gathered at the wonderfully unique Albany venue this past Saturday night for a fantastic evening of rock.
The windy chill of December didn’t keep the denizens of New York’s capital home this weekend. Central Avenue was alive and well, the streets buzzing with excitement as the city’s nightlife began to emerge. At the heart of it all was The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio. Although Albany is home to a plethora of entertainment establishments, The Linda is a truly one of a kind hybrid performance venue, which broadcasts all of their live shows across the airwaves on WAMC, and online at WAMC.org. The in-person crowd, as well as the at-home listeners were all treated to an intimate evening by four very talented bands.
Opening up the night was the group Haley Moley. The synth rock five-piece, consisting of Jennifer Maher Coleman (vocals, keyboards), Paul Coleman (guitar), Andrea Kosek (keyboards, guitar), Pat Thorpe (bass), and Mike Broomhead (drums), came out with a great energy right off the bat. Their sound had impressive depth, featuring warm and clear vocals, reverb-heavy guitars, lively keys, a super solid rhythm section, and synthesizers that at times felt utterly colossal. Their songs ranged from atmospheric and spacey to just straight up grooving, each tune seemingly trying to tell a new story. They were locked in from start to finish, and definitely provided an exciting vibe to kick off the show.
If you were walking by and happened to overhear the second band, you would assume that they had at least 5, maybe even 6 members with the massive sound they were emanating. Making your way to the source of the commotion, you would be surprised to find that at the center of this storm of sound were only two individuals. Based out of Chicago, North By North is composed of Nate Girard (vocals/guitar) and Kendra Blank (drums/vocals). This two-piece powerhouse set the air aflame with their raw explosiveness and genuinely infectious enthusiasm. Beneath the surface of their high-octane slamming were songs with serious substance. Their sound was a refreshing mixture of rock and punk, with a healthy splash of pop. Roaring vocals with some skillful, arpeggiated melodies, and sweet guitar ripping, combined with fun, yet subtly complex rhythms made for a thrilling performance. North By North made it look cool and easy, a sign of seasoned professionals who really know how to lay it down.
A Band Called E.R.I.E. was up next. Made up of TJ Foster (guitar/vocals), Matt Delgado (guitar), Chad Flewwelling (drums), and Jordan Stewart (bass), the group won the crowd over early with their friendly charm and a fun, rousing rock and roll feel. Their songs had clever lyrics and catchy riffs that had everyone in the audience moving and smiling. They were engaging, getting the crowd involved, clapping and singing along. They were incredibly supportive of the other acts, making sure to plug upcoming shows of the other groups, as well as graciously encouraging the audience to support their fellow bands at the merch table. E.R.I.E. was a class act with lots of passion and a great chemistry. You could tell that when they were playing, they were happy to be rocking alongside one another, making them very easy to like and cheer for.
The evening’s headliner El Modernist finished the night off with an absolute blast. The Albany indie-rockers consist of Will Fredette (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Will Hahn (drums/backing vocals), Taylor MacMillan (lead guitar/backing vocals), and Joe DeTillio (bass/backing vocals). Their music has something for everyone and anyone. Heavy, fuzzy guitars and thumping bass established a punk rock feel, with vocals that could be sweet and compelling, but also raspy and in your face. The melodies had a way of just grabbing a hold of you and taking you along for the ride. The drums were huge, while being accented with drum pad sound effects such as xylophone, claps, and bells that added some really nice layers. Their compositions contained smooth transitions, tight rhythmic stops, and an undeniable swagger. El Modernist would fit just as perfectly in a sold out stadium as they would in a dance club. They were as humble as they were electrifying, and had the crowd captivated and hollering to the very end.
The show’s sound as a whole was immaculate, aided by the concert hall’s splendid acoustics, as well as a great job by the evening’s audio engineer, Eddie Hotaling. The mix was clear and crisp, with every singer and instrument present and well balanced. The undertone of the venue and the staff was comfortable and welcoming. Anyone who hasn’t had the chance to stop in to The Linda for a show needs to put it on their priority list for 2022. The facility also hosts a wide range of events beyond concerts, including workshops, debates, films, and community gatherings. It is an unquestionably special place that is helping to cultivate an extraordinary arts culture in Albany.
All photos taken by Jackson Tollerton. You can explore each band with the following links:
El Modernist: https://linktr.ee/elmodernist
North By North: https://linktr.ee/northbynorthmusic
Haley Moley: https://haleymoley.com