Langhorne Slim and The Felice Brothers @ McCarren Pool
The Rain was not going to deter me from seeing Langhorne Slim. Did some quick thinking and brought some garbage bags from the Brooklyn renovation site I was working at earlier in the day. Deertick canceled due to a flight delay, still have yet to see them live but a must-do!
The expansive sound of Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles (Malachi DeLorenzo drums and Paul Defiglia Stand-up bass) in an outdoor space were welcome. Relentless touring has amplified Langhorne’s robust voice. His ease and charming manner are felt immediately. Rather than drenched in rain, I was soaked with affection. The soulful grip of his passionate timbre dripped over the wet receptive crowd.
They performed an awesome two-for-one combo of “Mary” with “Cut It Down,” a hidden live track on Electric Love letter EP. Also playing “Restless,” “Hello Sunshine,” the great raucous “Set Em Up,” Hummingbird,” and “Diamonds and Gold” from their self-titled release, and the infectious unreleased “We Love the Animals.” "Hummingbird" was a highlight. Unaccompanied, Langhorne was not alone, he had everyone’s attention. Ending the set with “Diamonds and Gold,” the crowd smiled and swayed as the hazy sun peeked through the clouds that felt like a rainbow. Langhorne can charm, and the War Eagles can jump-start any crowd with their tight-quality performance.
I enjoyed The Felice Brothers opening for Bright Eyes at the big expansive Radio City Music Hall, but they are even more engaging close-up. Their homegrown street theater style is much rougher around the edges. I like the communal staging and switching of focus between all the players, including the theatrical antics of drummer Simone Felice. James Felice on accordion is a big presence not to be forgotten. Starting with “Roll on Arte,” Ian Felice’s rough and earthy voice was a gritty delight. “Whiskey in my Whiskey” and “Radio Song” was the warm-up! Craig Farley, fiddle and washboard player, adds jug-band gusto to the mix. Sadly I had to leave early, believe me, this was a necessity, but I can’t get the songs out of my head.