White Denim, Brooklyn Bowl, NY – 8/13-14
In reference to White Denim, the question is not “if” but “when” will you see them perform, if that time has not come and passed for you. Austin, Texas based four-piece recently played a two-night run at Brooklyn Bowl on August 13th & 14th. Much like Brooklyn Bowl in comparison to your standard music venue, White Denim has more to offer than most bands these days, carrying a variety of tricks in their bag. White Denim has an expansive taste, touching on many different flavors of music. If you like refreshing and ridiculously talented musicianship in a jambalaya mixture composed of psychedelic rock, blues, soul, jazz, and experimental rock, then White Denim is calling you through their 70’s pop-rock structures that hint at 30 years of music slammed into one tune.
All four musicians are very talented, bringing their own style and feel to the table. White Denim is composed of singer and guitarist James Petralli, lead guitarist Austin Jenkins, Bassist Steve Terebecki, and drummer Joshua Block. They kicked night one off with lighting bolts coming from every note straight into the riled crowd’s dome-pieces, anxiously anticipating a disgusting show after their Bowery Ballroom appearance back in April. The crowd was not disappointed. They came out with a monster performance, playing both old and new tracks, concentrating on upbeat pieces to kick off the set, filling the room with electricity right off the bat. The performance was a blast, and set the pace for a great follow up show. Before the second show I had the opportunity to speak with James Petralli, lead singer and guitarist of White Denim. Friends at Triple Down Records and myself, attempted to pick his brain on what to expect after the insanely energetic night one. He surprised us by saying they were approaching the show with a much more open-minded structure to expand on their already experimentally intuitive style of song writing. Basically, “we are going to jam a heck of a lot,” Petralli states.
In this day and age it seems bands focus entirely on their albums, hiding behind studio walls, thus allowing over-production to grasp the listeners’ ears. White Denim proves that their live performances carry the heavy hand of Thor, dropping big hitters one after another, only louder and faster, and with more enthusiasm than the studio version. Some tracks that stuck out were “Burnished,” which took the champion status for me as they played it at an incredible rate, and basically boxed my ears with intense rhythms and fluid changes. On the slower side, “Street Joy” carried much more beauty and emotional depth than the album version, and “Drug,” which became an extended experimental jam that amazed even the most avid listener. Don’t get me wrong, they will also rock your face off with their studio albums which include but are not limited to; Workout Holiday (2008), Exposion (2008), Fits (2009), Last Day of Summer (2010 & 2011), and D (2011). My personal favorite being D, as it feels like I’m listening to the Allman Brothers with Tim Buckley singing on top of a freight train.