The Thermals at Bowery Ballroom
Our respective loved ones may have bailed on us, but Laura and I did some serious rock-show-going late last night as The Thermals crashed and bounced and screamed their way through an excellent hour-long set at Bowery Ballroom, which, with its crisp sound and intimate setting, remains the best general admission music venue in Manhattan.
Among the highlights of the appealingly raw (but musically tight) set were Our Trip, St Rosa and the Swallows, How We Know, No Culture Icons, A Stare Like Yours, Here's Your Future, God and Country, and, inevitably and beautifully, a packed-house sing-along of Pillar of Salt. Yes, there is a certain sameness to many Thermals songs, but singer/guitarist Hutch Harris has such whiny, geeky charisma—and his lyrics are so consistently honest and clever—that it all feels fresh and exciting each time the band launches into another short, loud and fast tune. The Thermals play again tonight at Studio B, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and you should definitely go.