The Family Band Show @ Rockwood Music Hall

It was very crowded at the Rockwood Music Hall, a small yet comfortable music venue on the Lower East Side, where a trio of bands and friends were set to perform.  Bear Man Gun, formerly the Lion's Share, Zach Williams and Brian Elmquist are all friends from previous experiences yet all converged onto this space for a night of friendship and music.

Bear Man Gun led the way with their brand of melodic sing-alongs, complete with memorable lyrics and bouncy tunes from start to finish.  Fronted by the energetic Caleb Clarty, the band definitely had a swagger about them and their showmanship really showed.  Despite not being my cup of tea, they put on an entertaining show and had the crowd going their whole set.

Following Bear Man Gun was Zach Williams and his entourage of band mates.  Consisting of six members, the band engulfed the small stage and at times were pouring off the stage.  Zach was very soulful yet melancholy, often taking the time to slow things down and really engage the crowd with heartfelt lyrics, so soft they were almost whispers.  I was very impressed by Zach's intensity and his powerful vocals.  At the end of his set, he gathered Caleb and Brian onstage where they jumped into a cover of the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down"; definitely one of the highlights of the night, the entire crowd sang boisterously along and enjoyed themselves 'til the very end.

Capping off the trio of performances was Brian Elmquist, a Georgia native who calls Brooklyn home and whose voice, please pardon the cliche', is as smooth and rich as honey. Brian plays a brand of folk rock with twist of southern soul, easy to listen and easy to enjoy.  With his bassist and drummer, Brian played through most of his recent release, Situation Unknown, having a little help along the way.  During "Funny Thing", Williams came onstage and sang alongside Elmquist, making for another highlight of the evening.  It's very apparent where Elmquist gains his inspiration for songwriting; heartache, lost love, new love, friendship and an importance of being true.  And for him, it makes for some beautiful songs and something we can all relate to.  Videos of Williams and Elmquist are below, along with the trio covering "Don't Let Me Down":

The Family Band Show @ Rockwood Music Hall The Family Band Show @ Rockwood Music Hall Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on February 02, 2010 Rating: 5
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