The Boston band had come down to New York on Saturday, April 12th as part of a showcase with friends Caspian (QRO photos), Paul Holmes (QRO photos), and Zambri (QRO photos), and the backroom stage floor was as full as the line-up, cheek-to-cheek and jowl-to-jowl for all four bands. Hooray rocked with a mixture of pieces off their new Cellphone EP (QRO review) and not – all the while delivering a light show far in excess of anything one would expect that the small venue was capable of.
Saturday nights in the Bowery area of Manhattan are always active, with a mixture of indie-hipsters, bar-hoppers, and club kids (and the security at places like Piano’s can get a little too amped up as a result), but it was still impressive to see the tight, wall-to-wall crowd for band after band at Piano’s (QRO venue review) (the new bar on the house-left does cut down on the stage floor space, but with all the bands sharing a back line, there wasn’t nearly the amount of equipment on the floor, not being used, that one might expect). Especially considering the non-local nature of the bands: this was no Brooklyn group getting all their friends and neighbors to come out and cheer them on.
After Caspian delivered the post-rock and Paul Holmes delivered the rock-rock, Hooray For Earth took the stage with their new “How Are You Here”. The driving, grinding attack still saw melodic elements mixed in, and it set the stage for what Hooray were going to throw at the crowd. Whether Cellphone pieces like “Warm Out” or other ones like their cover of Broadcast’s “Corporeal”, the band never let up, yet whenever they might veer into over-aggression, singer/guitarist Noel Heroux would pull back with a wink and a smile.
Hooray For Earth playing "Corporeal" (Broadcast cover) live at Piano’s, NY:
And you could tell what was on Heroux’s face because the band had a light show that could stand toe-to-toe with those of huge acts like Spoon (QRO photos) or VHS or Beta (QRO photos) at big, fancy venues like Terminal 5 (QRO venue review) or Highline Ballroom (QRO venue review). Piano’s is nowhere near the size or cost of those places, yet Hooray managed to light the place up with an interesting and intricate light show, highlighted by flashing floodlight beneath the seat of drummer Seth Kasper (also of Wild Light – QRO photos). Whether it was Cellphone numbers like “Izod” or others like “Friend” (where Heroux’s girlfriend – and singer in Zambri – stepped up to join him on stage and at the microphone), the band were illuminating in more than one way.
Hooray For Earth playing "Izod" live at Piano’s, NY:
This isn’t to overlook the music, though, for some reason, Hooray For Earth skipped the first two tracks on Cellphone, the title piece and “Ellie Mae”. Unfortunately, those two are two of the best, but perhaps those catchier pieces wouldn’t have quite fit the mood of the night. And you couldn’t say they didn’t bring it all back home with their finisher, from Cellphone, “Videostore”. About to play a handful of dates on the East Coast, including opening up for Ra Ra Riot (QRO spotlight on) back home at The Middle East, be sure to catch them – and if the crowd’s too thick, don’t worry: Hooray will light the way.
Hooray For Earth playing "Videostore" live at Piano’s, NY: