On the first day of August, a flock of people congregated at David Blaine’s The Steakhouse to see a show packed with impressive solo artists and two secret headliners. Six acts in total and margaritas by the bucketful, the night promised to be memorable and delivered on that promise in full. Brittany Costa (who also plays in the excellent admira) kicked the evening off with a set of delicate, haunting songs anchored by her stunning voice and reverbed-out electric ukulele. Adir L.C. sustained that setting (swapping out the uke for a guitar) and blended in a distinct brand of soulfulness that elevated his songs far past the standard coffeehouse fare.
The evening’s third act, Rebecca Ryskalczyk, recently earned a feature on this site for an excellent demo packet. Ryskalczyk, who also plays in Bethlehem Steel, offered up a gorgeous set (“Other Otters”, in particular, was breathtaking) and one of the night’s most unexpected moments. Mid-set, the songwriter broke from the music for a spirited stand up set that kept the audience entranced as they laughed. Her set was the last of the solo acts and set the stage for the first full band performance. Roz and the Rice Cakes took that slot and ran with it, offering up an eclectic, manic set of carnivalesque pop.
Before long the first of two secret headliners, site favorites Girlpool, were front and center. Having just delivered a mesmerizing set at Baby’s All Right only a handful of days prior, there was the looming possibility of diminishing returns. The setting, the performance, and the overwhelming quality of the duo’s music quickly put any concerns to rest and once again provided a masterclass in minimal pop. Eliciting more than a few chills, the band made their way through a varied set with verve and grace before finally putting a bow on another unforgettable set.
Frankie Cosmos took the last headliner slot and the audience’s adoration for the trio was as palpable as it had been for Girlpool. Playing their first show with the new lineup, the trio seemed eager to test the waters and wasted no time in settling into a groove. A handful of songs bled into each other seamlessly and the band seemed incredibly locked in to their performance, providing a strong showcase for material old and new. For how gentle Frankie Cosmos’ music seems, the band’s performance can be fiery to the point of contradiction, creating a fascinating dynamic that works heavily in the band’s favor. By the time the band wrapped things up with the painfully gorgeous “Embody”, they’d likely won over anyone that wasn’t already on board and- more importantly- ended a great show on the perfect note.
Click over to the full photo gallery of the show here and watch some of the evening’s performances in the video below.