Saturday, June 8th. Irving Plaza. New York. Gotham Rocks celebrated 5 years of bringing the masses the best of what New York has to offer, and they’ve succeeded yet again. The bands on the bill were: ISPACEWALKSOMETIMES, The Amatory Murder, Machine Elves, Srotakin IV, Brand Of Julez, with mod rockers, Charetta as the evening’s headliners. I arrived just as Srotakin IV take the stage. Okay, confession time. With the exception of Machine Elves, I’d never heard of any of the bands on the bill, but overall, I was pleasantly surprised. The boys of Srotakin IV played their hearts out, but what got my head bopping from their set was their cover of Lustra’s one hit, “Scotty Doesn’t Know”, from that 2004 comedy, Euro Trip. Anyway, they were cool and the lead singer’s voice had the right amount of gravel (which I particularly enjoy ever since I first heard the best gravel voice in the business–Greg Graffin, resident PHD-holding evolutionary biologist and punk singer of Bad Religion), but I was not there for Srotakin IV. Nice cover though boys. No, folks, I was there for the Machine Elves and their special brand of party rock.
He jumped off stage at one point towards the end of their set just to be in the thick of it.
Yes, I felt rocked out after having a listen to their debut album, Fancy Suits & Cigarettes, but I needed to see for myself if the boys from the Machine Elves could translate that feeling in a live setting; and you know what? Monsters! They’re fucking monsters live. The Machine Elves commanded the stage as if they we’re born there, would probably die there, and the audience were invited to a party the Machine Elves just happened to be throwing. The Machine Elves started their set with the track that also opens up their album, the self-titled “Machine Elves“. That’s all it took, folks. Machine Elves were off and running. The band’s lead singer, Joey Calveri played his part of ring leader, rallying the audience to rock along with him. Elves’ guitarists, Frank Fasano and Lou LaRocco were having fun playing off each other, especially, Frank. He jumped off stage at one point towards the end of their set just to be in the thick of it. It’s an amazing feeling to give off so much love to the audience. Now, imagine what it must have felt for the Machine Elves to see that they were getting that love right back. Hell, if I were Frank, I would’ve done the same exact thing. Bandanna-clad bassist, Howie Blatz was like a kid in a candy store, expertly keeping the groove with his bass lines and, from what I saw, when Howie wasn’t providing backing vocals, he was smiling from ear to ear. Lest we forget, providing the driving beat on the skins, the bastard son of Tommy Lee, Tommy Mitchell. He beat those drums like they owed him money. Phenomenal. Machine Elves are more than just another rock band, they’re an experience. The Machine Elves party had officially begun when Joey raised his plastic cup filled with a suspicious clear liquid (Vodka? gin? It was alcohol.) for their song, “Juice“.
providing the driving beat on the skins, the bastard son of Tommy Lee.
The Machine Elves premiered a brand new song in their set called “Alive Again“, which they dedicated to a friend of the band who is currently battling cancer. The song itself was touching, yet, as always with the Machine Elves, it was still rocking out. The highlight of the Machine Elves set for me though was when they went into their song “Stripper” featuring, you guessed it, Strippers! Now they weren’t as scantily clad as I would have liked them to be, but they did the job. Gyrating, and shaking their asses the way strippers do. One thing is for damn sure, the next time the Machine Elves grace the stage, you know who’s going to be there front row, right? This guy right here (points to self).
It was finally time for the headliners of the night to make their presence known to the amped up audience. Charetta. Ahh, Charetta! I had planned to leave right after the Machine Elves set was over, but, as luck would have it, Joshua Hawksley, frontman of She Said Fire was at the show passing out flyers to promote his band, and he just happened to take notice of my girl’s skull shirt; and, that’s how we met. An interview with She Said Fire is soon to come. Joshua was gushing about how cool Charetta was so, I was game to stick around; and I’m glad I did. They were a smash from the get. Number one, the lead singer, Angelina DelCarmen is a stone cold fox, and upon first hitting the stage, you just didn’t know what to expect. At least I didn’t. When she opened her mouth to sing those first few bars, I understood what the buzz was all about. If you look on Charetta’s official site, their bio quotes a fan as stating, “it sounds like Alanis Morissette punching Chevelle in the face.” Yeah, that’s true, but they’re so much more. Personally, I feel that Angelina’s vocals ooze with so much sexiness, and in that, she surpasses Alanis Morissette. Quite frankly, Alanis Morissette doesn’t have the sexiness factor in her voice. Alanis’ voice is kind of whiny. actually, let’s put that comparison to bed right now. Alanis Morissette has nothing on Angelina. The other members in Charetta: Pablo LaFrossia (guitar), Chris Fullam (guitar), Richard Mollo (bass), and Adonis Sanchez (skins), are a tight rocking outfit that don’t know how to do anything except rock to the masses. As a band, they play the type of rock that i enjoy. Heavy. The band, led by DelCarmen, runs through their set and all in the audience are transfixed to the stage for the half hour that the band is on. I can’t say enough about this band except to say that I was humming along to their tunes long after the show had ended.
The band led by DelCarmen runs through their set and all in the audience are transfixed to the stage for the half hour that the band is on.
June 9th, the day after the show, and I’m still buzzing from Charetta’s set. Even before I eat breakfast, I light a cigarette and turn on my trusty old laptop and go straight for Spotify. I type in ‘Charetta’. They’re there! Over the next couple of days, I take the time to acquaint myself with Charetta and I am in love. It’s good to know people who know people, ya know? My friend, Clara directed me to get in contact with Charetta bass player, Richard, I Facebook’d him, he got back to me. Charetta interview coming soon.
Gotham Rocks like kilScene keeps the flame of Rock alive and I would like to take this time to thank them for gathering the talent that brought Irving Plaza to its knees through the power and majesty of Rock! Here’s to another 5 years!