That title is a mouthful. Just typing it out has taken the wind out of me. But, it’s descriptive and accurate, so I’m going with it.
Note: There are no photos in this post yet. We’re running to Rockwood now for a 6pm show and I barely finished the words. Tomorrow morning I’ll add in a ton of photos and tweet the link out again, for those that might want to revisit the post to see it in its correct glory! I’ll delete this paragraph when I update the post with the photos.
Tony Maceli is one of the top bass players in the NYC indie music scene. Some months ago, he started organizing a regular mega-show called Full Vinyl. Last night was the first one we were able to attend, so I don’t know whether we’ve missed one or two. I also don’t know whether the format is always the same (or going to be). This show was at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2.
It was such a massive (fast moving) show, that I would be doing an injustice to multiple people if I tried to cover it the way I do normal sets. Most importantly, I’d be doing myself the massive injustice of sitting here and typing for the next few days. In other words, it isn’t going to happen.
I’ll give a high-level description, call out a few people (which is no slight on anyone that doesn’t get a separate shout-out), then do my best to at least give a link to every person who was on stage. There’s little doubt that I’ll miss someone, or not be able to identify someone (or their site). No omission is intentional, and whenever someone (cough, cough, Tony?) corrects me (public corrections are fine), I’ll update the post to reflect it.
The format last night was Talking Heads first (lead singers were all boys, with one very notable exception). To close out the Talking Heads portion, all lead singers return to the stage at the same time and each sings a piece of the finale, the uber-famous Psycho Killer. Each individual number had numerous band members swapping in and out on each song.
Michelle Cassilas was the sole female lead singer during this part of the evening. She’s the head of the band Ursa Minor, writing their songs, singing lead vocals and playing guitar. She can certainly rock it out, so having her in the boys portion of the evening was just fine.
Here’s the set list for the Talking Heads portion. The order wasn’t strictly maintained because a few people (Jerry Fuentes and Derek James in particular) were still playing their set next door when it would have been their turn:
Under each song you’ll see the band members that were slated to play (at least their last names). The first name listed was the primary lead singer for that song.
One male singer couldn’t make it due to illness (if Tony said who it was, I missed it). A last minute substitute was recruited, the amazing Robbie Gil. He’s not listed on the set list, because I think Tony already knew about the illness before he printed the sheets. I might be remembering this incorrectly, but I think that Robbie sang Burning Down the House, which has Greg Mayo listed as lead singer (which would have been a second lead for Mayo).
Tony Maceli opened the show. I missed most of his song because I was next door watching Jerry Fuentes and Derek James (I already posted about that show). A friend texted me when this show began and I waited until Jerry and Derek finished their current song to scoot over. I caught the last full verse of Tony singing.
I then heard Tony sing a full verse during Psycho Killer. Folks, I’ve heard Tony sing before (rarely) and I praised him. Those previous times were nothing compared to last night. He really opened up his vocals and did a fantastic job. Perhaps he decided to put on these shows just to give himself a vehicle to sing for the rest of us. If that’s the case, I approve.
On to the second half of the show. This time, the ladies were in control and the subject matter was Alanis Morissette. The format was the same, including all of the lads joining for the finale, Ironic, but you’ll notice that three of the woman sang two different songs on the lead. Here’s the set list for the ladies:
I was never a Talking Heads fan, though songs like Psycho Killer are burned in my memory (was anything else played on the radio when that first came out?). Watching these people playing those 11 songs did not change that. For the most part, those songs don’t do it for me at all. But, watching these people play those songs (or practically anything), was truly thrilling. I don’t say that just because I love most of them (as people as well as musicians), but because the performance was simply that good. I still wouldn’t want to listen to any of it at home, without the energy in the room.
The Alanis Morissette portion, totally different story. Even though my eyes were droopy and I was yawning, the second half was amazing, each song. It wasn’t that the women performed it any better than the men (they didn’t, both groups nailed their parts). It’s just that Alanis Morissette is a dramatically better songwriter for my taste.
Here’s the photo of the ladies’ finale:
We left Rockwood at 2am (sheesh). Not for one second did I consider leaving early.
Before listing out as many people as I can find, I want to write out some incredibly subjective, almost silly thoughts. Not because I want to (or believe I can) sway anyone’s opinion. I just want to remember exactly how I felt and this is the best way. One more caveat. There wasn’t a single weak performance last night (seriously, I’m not sparing anyone’s feelings, you just have to trust me on that). So, by calling out anyone, it would be a major mistake on your part to assume that there was a vast difference between the people I’m mentioning and the people I’m not.
Last time, the following observations are entirely my personal opinions. I’m not casting them as facts. If these people delivered a level-10 performance, then the worst of the rest delivered a 9, with the average being 9.5+.
Josh Dion was the most thrilling male performer. When his song was done, I turned to anyone in my vicinity and said “Josh can only be described by one word: Excitement”.
Misty Boyce was mind-boggling in her lead, but she was also the primary harmony vocalist with both the males and females. She also played keyboards and melodica. I’ve seen Misty sing background with Bess Rogers before, and I’ve wanted to see her own sets (and came really close twice, including earlier this week), but this was my first time seeing her take center stage. She grabbed it and didn’t let go until we were all reduced to a puddle.
When her song was over, my friend leaned over and said: “Hard to imagine that she isn’t going to blow up one of these days!” (my friends and I are obviously gangsta, holla, in case you mistook that for being a bad thing!).
Finally, let’s try to get everyone’s full name (with links if I can find them). I’ll do the male leads first, then the female leads, then the band members. And…… GO:
Tony Maceli, already covered. He also played bass on many of the songs, always his forte.
Greg Mayo, in addition to singing lead, Greg played electric and acoustic guitars on a majority of the numbers. He sang the most harmony by a male (even on the Alanis set). Even when he wasn’t singing in the mic, Greg was silently singing every word of every Alanis Morissette song. He’s clearly a big fan!
Scott Chasolen, in addition to singing lead, played the electronic keyboards on that song. He was great!
Jerry Fuentes, already discussed above, sang and played smoking lead guitar.
Derek James sang with Jerry Fuentes as part of Jerry’s number.
Michelle Casillas, also mentioned above. Great! (I’m going to stick with great, so no one reads into me trying to simply mix up my superlatives.)
Chris Cubeta, I’ve heard about Chris for a while now, mostly as a producer (he produced the upcoming The Vanity Belles CD). This was my first time laying eyes on him and I was very impressed with his voice and guitar play. Misty Boyce sang harmony with him in near-lockstep. They sounded great together.
Daniel Lanzetta was not listed on either set list, so I missed him the first time I posted this. When I added the photos, I realized my error. He joined Chris Cubeta and did the spoken parts of Once in a Lifetime (of which there are many).
Zach Jones, in addition to singing lead, also drummed for a good bit of each set. This is the first time we’ve ever seen Zach hatless. It turns out, that contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t get his superpowers from his hat, because he was great without it yesterday, both singing and drumming.
Josh Dion. Already asked and answered! I’ll just mention that he was drumming while he was singing, but if you’ve heard of Josh Dion, then you probably guessed that already (you couldn’t have been sure, because he’s great on the keyboards too!).
Robbie Gil, also mentioned above. Great!
Casey Shea not only was great (see, I’m not varying my adjectives in this section), but he also came off the stage, laid down on a table in front of it, and serenaded a woman within inches of her face. Let me think who that was… Oh yeah, it was Lois!
On to the female leads (remember, three of them sang twice, so their list will be shorter):
Jamie Rae, sang lead on two songs. She’s listed as Raeya on Tony’s set list. I think she recently started a new solo project under that moniker. Great!
Misty Boyce, I want to repeat what I said above, but I’ll restrain myself.
Lelia Broussard, sang lead on two songs. She also danced around a bunch and raised the already high energy level higher as a result. Great!
Charlene Kaye, in addition to singing lead, also sang harmony with a few others. Great!
Emily Long, sang lead, and was one of the people that Charlene Kay sang with. The two of them are in a Guns N’ Roses cover band called Guns N’ Hoses. Emily was great!
Julia Haltigan, sang lead on one song. She too was great! She was recently at Rockwood for her own set, and will be again next week, but beside that, she’s performing soon at The Kennedy Center in Washington. No biggie, I’m sure.
Dallin Applebaum, sang lead on two songs. Great!
Onward, to the unsung (get it?) folks who supported the above, in the most amazing fashion (I’m not going to repeat the ones who sang, but separately played an instrument on many other songs):
Patrick Firth on electronic keyboards and light vocals. He really wailed on the synth/organ sounds. Great!
Jeremy Goldsmith on electric guitar. We’re about to see him in a couple of hours, supporting Jesse Terry at Rockwood. I’m looking forward to seeing him again, because, wait for it, he was great last night!
Ben Zwerin on electric bass. Great!
Paul Amorese on drums. Great!
Matt Simons on electronic keyboards and light vocals. I just saw Matt Simons on the same set with Brian Killeen, supporting John Schmitt. Great!
Steven Elliot on electric guitar. Great!
Rob Jost on electric bass. Great!
Robert DiPietro on drums. I’m pretty sure they called him Rob last night, but the link says Robert, so I’ll stick with that. Great!
Both Robs (Jost and DiPietro) are in Ursa Minor with Michelle Casillas and they supported her when she sang lead.
Matt Aranoff on electric bass. Great!
Ryan Vaughn on drums. Great! I ran into Ryan at John Schmitt’s set and told him that I personally blamed him for keeping us up way past our bedtime. Meaning, we really like catching sets when Ryan is drumming.
Spencer Cohen on drums and cowbell. Yes, Spencer is a master percussionist, including playing a naked cowbell, center stage! Great!
John Kengla on electric bass. Great!
Update: I just looked through the photos and not only can’t I find one with John Kengla, the song he was supposed to play on, Heaven, sung by Zach Jones, has Tony Maceli playing on it. So, no photo, and he might not even have been there. Oops.
Rob Heath on drums. Great!
Dan Tirer on electric guitar. Also great, but I’ll add that this was my first time seeing him, and I was particularly impressed. In fact, Lois, who doesn’t pay as much attention to certain instruments as I do, turned to me and commented on how good she thought he was.
Matt Basile on electric bass. Matt always delivers, great!
Jamie Alegre on drums. Great!
Steve Williams on drums. I saw Steve once before, supporting Julia Haltigan. He was great that night and again last night!
Jeff Litman on acoustic guitar. Great!
Wow, can’t believe I got through the list, with or without mistakes. Yay me!