Part of the reason I originally moved to New York is that I wanted to be able to see great live music any night of the week. But after a while, I couldn’t keep up with the new music scene, and concerts were expensive, and I didn’t want to stand around during the opening acts just so I could have a place where I could see the main band, and the drinks were overpriced, and DAMN KIDS! Stop jostling me! I’m trying to stand here peacefully and nod my head to the music!
In short, I got old.
But the Cold War Kids show at Re:Mix Lab on Saturday was a brief cure to my crotchety attitude. Thanks to my handy UPROXX press pass, I skipped the line of fans waiting to gain entry. (Enjoy the weather, SUCKAS!) Once inside, my friend Ethan and I helped ourselves to free drinks until the show started. Free booze makes everything okay.
We had an hour to kill until Cold War Kids took the stage, so Ethan and I downed drinks and took in the sights of the Re:Mix Lab, which was very obviously sponsored by the Hyundai Veloster. The relatively small space had three different tricked-out Velosters — and yes, that’s the first time I’ve ever said “tricked-out” about a Hyundai. For a while we watched Thor on a flatscreen in a Veloster trunk:
Now see, THAT’S what I’m looking for in a car: additional storage space for my extra 3-D glasses.
The space also had one of those Twitter boards where you can see everybody who’s checked in at the event and using the #REMIXLABNY hashtag.
Did you know that the Veloster has its own twitter account? I was hoping it would be all, “VROOM! VROOM! BEEP BEEP!,” but it’s actual people talking about the car. I suppose that’s better for the brand. This is why I don’t work in advertising.
Oh right! The concert. As I said, it was a delightful departure from my usual concert experience: the space was small enough to feel intimate, but not packed so tight that a mid-30s grump like myself could complain about it. We stood at the top of the steps near the back (close to the bar!), and enjoyed clear sight lines and decent sound despite the imperfect acoustics.
Cold War Kids took the stage around 10:30 and opened strong: their second song was “Mexican Dogs,” which laymen might recognize from the “Boss’s Daughter” Heineken ad.
They followed that with two of their best songs from their debut album Robbers and Cowards, “Tell me in the Morning” and “Hang Me Up to Dry,” the latter of which earned the biggest cheers from the audience, because most people are poseurs and only download hit songs.
With the exception of an inspired “We Used to Vacation,” the middle of the concert dragged in parts, as Nathan Willett & Co. played slower songs from the band’s second album, the less narrative Loyalty to Loyalty. This sparked a discussion between Ethan and me about how Loyalty to Loyalty was interesting but not particularly good, whereas the more recent Mine Is Yours is more listenable but boring. It’s a valid point: Radiohead’s music is still interesting, but I haven’t heard anything I enjoy listening to from them for the better part of a decade.
But the group closed strongly with “Saint John,” we left happy with the performance, and the crowd cleared out for the next event at Re:Mix — Underground Rebel Bingo. It’s like regular bingo, but EXTREME HARDCORE TO THE MAX!