Alberta Cross, Pianos, NYC – 3/10
Alberta Cross, comprised of Petter Ericson Stakee, Terry Wolfers, Alec Higgins, Darren Beckett and Aaron Tasjian, played the lower east side’s small venue, Pianos, with a 2-night performance on March 10th and 11th. For the band’s last performance before heading to SXSW, the band played mostly new songs off their upcoming record, which has yet to be assigned a release date. After listening to their previous EP with the single “money for the weekend” the band seemed to be going into more of a mainstream direction, but fortunately their new music stays true to their distinctive and authentic sound.
The room was crammed, and the 5-piece band started immediately into their set without any openers or introduction. Petter Ericson Stakke donned his typical fedora and jammed repeatedly back and forth with lead guitarist. The first song was a little deeper and grungier than their previous stuff but as they rolled into their second song things slowed back down and Petter’s high pitched wail complimented the synths and amped up bass with vocal precision.
Petter’s vocals in the live realm are always impressive, hitting every note with a perfect tonal quality, but his voice comes across much higher in person. The band’s banter is meager, but their music speaks for itself as they fluidly move from song to song. Although the room is crowded, everyone remains at ease, charmed by the performance, swaying back and forth. When the band started into well-known tracks like “ATX,” and “The Thief and the Heartbreaker” the crowd became more animated and many people joined in mouthing the lyrics.
Of their new material, “Come on Maker,” seemed to be an instant crowd-pleaser as it was both catchy and heartbreaking, slowing down in time for Petter’s desperate cries to resonate against the audience and picking back up for a perfect musical climax. The song sounded very similar to their previous material but with an electric charge and an energy that we haven’t heard before and it’s easy to see that the band is upping their game. Although not often described as a jamband, Alberta Cross’ instrumentals were spontaneous and wild and the bandmates complemented one another well, feeding off of each other’s energy.
Although the band ended early with a very short set and the promise of a longer show the following night, the new material did not disappoint and those lucky enough to catch the band at SXSW are sure to be in for a treat!