Last Wednesday and Thursday nights I went along with my boyfriend, who was filming a cover band. He met them while working at his boss’s daughter’s baht mitzvah (his boss owns the video equipment rental house he works at) and got to talking to them. He told them he liked them so much he’d film them, not expecting payment. So of course I had to go to check them out and see what the hub-bub was about.
Let me just start by saying that since moving to NYC in August I haven’ been to any shows. Not cool. First off, I’m still looking for a job so can’t easily justify spending money on anything but rent and food. Second… Well… I didn’t really know where to look. This being my first NYC cover band (they have a few originals too) I’m not sure if this band, The Cleaners, are out of the ordinary or not. Halfway through their first song on Wednesday night my immediate review was: “These guys are fucking fantastic!!” And that review stuck until the last note on Thursday night too.
They play everything! Beck, AC/DC, Johnny Cash, The Who, Vampire Weekend, The Violent Femmes, Bruce Springsteen, MGMT, Buck Owens, The Killers… the list goes on. They hand out an impressively long list of songs people can circle to request — I circled about 5 songs both nights because it was so impossible to choose just one.
After they played on Wednesday night, they came over to chat with Nich (my cinematographer boyfriend) and the (more or less) lead guitarist was talking about how they weren’t so great and in almost every song he hit a “clam.” (You know… he clammed up.) I looked at him and was surprised — I told him how amazing they were. And they really were. Whether they messed up at all or played perfectly, it didn’t matter. The talent was there and the energy was there in tenfold. Sitting in the audience you can tell that they LOVE what they do. That energy emanates from the stage and pulls you right in. They accomplished what all bands shoot for (at least I assume it’s what all bands are aiming for) — to make a connection with their audience. I felt so pulled in to their music… And most of the time they weren’t even playing their music. I’d love to hear more of their originals because if they can play covers with the intensity as if they were there own, then their original work must be double.
This Wednesday and Thursday I’ll be repeating last week with them, since Nich needs to get some more footage. And I can’t wait to hear it all over again. Even with no other similar bands in the city to compare them to, I still think they’re stellar. (Unfortunately, they put my friends’ cover band back home to shame.)