I hadn’t planned to review this show (given it was Mrs. ScoAustin and I’s first night out since the arrival of wee ScoAustin), but the performance compelled me to pen a short piece. Lead man, Pino promised me that, ‘Ghosts of Eden’ would be doing something a little different this time around, and he held to his word. The intro was absolutely fantastic in which drummer Benny joined the rest of the band on stage sporting an 80’s era guitar/piano/synth. Very dark and mellow with undertones of their song, ‘Dear Mary’ and a couple of other medley’s. If the intention was to build up the fervor, it certainly worked. Electronica is not an element I have seen, ‘Ghosts of Eden’ turn to in the past…wouldn’t mind seeing a little more on this showing.
It was back to the rocking and raucous in quick fashion with, ‘KMA’ kicking in after the scintillating intro. This was the GOE that the sold out Gramercy crowd had come to see. The ending was mind blowing with some heavy bass and deft drum beats. Some crowd interaction from the front man followed, enticing the crowd to “get your bodies moving and get all sexy”. Tom does a good job of keeping the crowd engaged without over doing the chat. One of the GOE originals in the form of, ‘Heartbreak Crutch’ up next as the crowd followed the advice of, Tom and got their bodies shaking.
Another wee surprise in the form of a cover song, Franki Valli’s, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You’. For a band in the genre of, ‘Ghosts of Eden’, it seemed an odd choice and perhaps game a little early in the set. That said, it worked! Tom explaining that it’s his “secret dream in life to one day become a crooner”. The secret is out and there is potential here in the future. The crowd really got in to this accompanying the band with the lyrics and having a lot of fun with it. Credit to, Stephanie Azzarelli who accompanied on trumpet.
From the crooning previously, the band change tact with, ‘Halo’ which is fast, frenetic and a little angry where Pino talks about waging war with his halo…perhaps a personal experience being referenced here. Benny’s drum skins need a break and they get something of a breather in the brand new, bass heavy, ‘Water’ that follows. Tom tunes his vocal chords and caresses the mic stand on this gentler number which is home to a brilliant bass line delivered expertly well by, Miles. Of course there can’t be a GOE song without a bit of a jam and some heaviness…the ending to this one is blistering.
Next up, the GOE classic that is, ‘Elliot Ness’ in which the front man suggests, “if you know the lyrics to this song, sing along”. This really is a track you would expect to hear on any good radio station and feel empowered to sing along. Some great lyrics and a fantastic opening guitar riff. I know the words to this one and I did sing along a little. From the bands, ‘Ignorance and Lies’ EP, this track has appeared on almost every GOE set list and for good reason.
Another new one in, ‘Ka-Pow!’ in which, Pino demonstrates his high kung-fu kickability (or not) when introducing the song. This is crazy fast and full of the energy that the title would suggest. There is a portion of this track which sounds a little like British 80’s rock band, ‘The Police’ when backing vocals couples with Tom’s combine…it reminds me of, ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’. Rip-roaring and loud…my ears are tingling as the band go off pre encore to raptures of “GOE! GOE! GOE! GOE! GOE! GOE!”
One of the shows highlights is the appearance of, Pino for the encore and a solo in the form of, ‘Walls’ which shows an unlikely sensitive side. It’s a beautiful little ballad with heartfelt lyrics that are delivered in a serious and poignant manner by the lead man. The crowd utterly captivated. The mellow setting doesn’t last long as ‘Capsize’ thunders in with what I can only describe as a Tommy-gun type guitar riff and accompanying drum beat which really does have me thinking I’m in the middle of a warzone, not a NY gig venue.
GOE finished another solid live performance with what has become their standard closer, ‘In Motion’. It’s a fitting choice with a song which goes a long way to characterizing this band. This is a band who has worked tirelessly hard on extending their reach by playing shows all over the east coast, not to mention they are constantly striving to improve. The hard work pays off every time I see them live. They exceed my high expectations each and every time…that can only be a good thing. Rating 8.5/10
Listen to the whole thing here. Note: this was recorded by an iPhone so probably doesn’t do the sound quality any justice, but it perhaps puts my word in to sound - http://ghostsofeden.com/Live%20At%20Gramercy.m4a
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (Frankie Valli Cover)
Capsize/Sell My Skin medley