It was another midweek show for me, as I headed into Nashville to my favorite music venue. Upon first glances, it seemed as if it was going to be a laidback and quiet night at the Brooklyn Bowl. I arrived 30 minutes prior to showtime and the venue wasn’t even a quarter full; it was the first time I had ever seen such a sparse crowd and wondered if some bigger event was going on somewhere else. The weather was nice and I really couldn’t think of a good reason that people weren’t out to see Foxy Shazam and their Staten Island tourmates, Jigsaw Youth. I remember feeling fortunate to grab such a close spot to the stage, but as soon as the three ladies from the opening band took the stage, it seemed like people appeared out of thin air. One moment, I had plenty of room to stretch my arms, the next, I was pushed up against the guardrail, as fans pushed to get a closer look. It was one of the most unusual things I had ever experienced shooting shows.
Jigsaw Youth was definitely not what I expected as an opener for a glam rock band like Foxy Shazam.
They were heavy and raw, gritty and beautiful, and certainly a contrast from the high-energy rock sounds of the headliners. What stood out immediately upon first impressions was how badass lead singer Maria Alvarez was; the sheer explosiveness of her vocals established quickly why this band has gained such notoriety. She has the type of musical ‘it’ factor that many bands pray to the rock gods for. If she ever decided to leave the punk world, she could easily make a living in any genre of heavy metal. They certainly teeter on the brink of metal, but hold firmly to their punk roots. Jigsaw Youth is the type of band you want to blast on full volume if you had a rough day at work and need to let off some steam on your ride home. Check them out if you consider your tastes in the vein of loud and aggressive.
Foxy Shazam has the type of band name that seems like it was taken from a 1970s detective show about some ass-kicking female with attitude. Their name is quite fitting, considering they are one of the most energetic and kickass glam rock bands in the game today. The very minute they stepped onstage, the energy felt as if it went up 100 notches. It was a cardio routine set to killer rock music! If they had started doing aerobics onstage, I wouldn’t have been surprised for one second. Every single member of this band is a character and each brings their own unique flare to the group. At one point, the keyboard player jumped into the crowd and continued to bang the keys! This was highly unusual, considering most key players I have seen in my life tend to be reserved. This guy was putting off heavy Jerry Lee Lewis vibes and perhaps in the future, he might consider setting his piano on fire…?
Lead singer Eric Nally made a point to remind the crowd many times that his first experience on a big stage was in Nashville, which sent the crowd into a frenzy.
At one point, he asked if anyone in the crowd had a cigarette and was not only thrown a full pack, but also bombarded with about 10 singles. I personally know the bar manager and saw him in the rafters mouthing the words “don’t you do it!” as Eric lit up about five cigarettes all at once. He smoked them as hard and as fast as he could, until he reached the filter and the crowd absolutely erupted! I laughed and wondered to myself if they would be fined by the bar after the show. I think it really didn’t matter to them, as they seem to be the type of band who continuously throws caution to the wind and plays by their own rules. Outstanding show and I truly can’t wait until they come to Nashville again!
Photography by Derek Jones