The two Big Apple acts have shared bills before, from Mercury Lounge (QRO photos – QRO photos) to CMJ (QRO photos), and both are set for great a 2008, with their long-gestating full-lengths coming out: The Jealous Girlfriends (QRO review) last month, and Heavenly Bender this summer. But they still had time to share the evening of Tuesday, May 20th at Union Pool in their home borough.
Sam Champion started things off “So Good” with a number of their most upbeat, live-friendly tracks. They’ve been playing Heavenly tracks like “So Good”, “Like a Secret” and “Be Mine Everybody” for a while now, but the fact that we’re still waiting for them to come out on LP gives them some extra spice. And the band hasn’t been stuck in neutral; they debuted a song so new it doesn’t have a name (“If you name it… you win a chance to make the video…”), which fit right into the set.
There was a slight hiccup, as singer/guitarist Noah Chernin’s (QRO interview) amp went wonky. First, he tried switching up guitars during a song, but eventually he had to borrow The Jealous Girlfriends’ singer/guitarist Holly Miranda’s amp. But Sam Champion were able to return the favor when The Jealous Girlfriends played: Jealous drummer Mike Fadem has a problem with a snare drum during their set, but Champion drummer Ryan Thorton was able to jump in with a replacement. It helps to have friends…
Other than that issue, The Jealous Girlfriends likewise had a blast on stage. About to head out on tour with Los Angeles’ Sea Wolf, the Union Pool show was kind of a send-off. In a set dominated, but not exclusively from their new self-titled record, the boys and girl let it hang out with pieces like “Secret Identity”. The set was a bit more epic than Sam Champion’s, a bit more serious, but that isn’t to say there wasn’t fun to be had. Miranda and fellow singer/guitarist Josh Abbott were rocking, but the secret weapon was bassist/keyboardist Alex Lipsen; like Sam Champion’s guitarist/keyboardist Sean Sullivan (who unfortunately had forgotten his set of keys that night), Lipsen provided that extra dose of enthusiasm.
No, they weren’t perfectly played sets by any means, but the small Union Pool (QRO venue review) gave the whole thing a relaxed, ‘among friends’ air. There was certainly a good time all around, both on and off the stage, and really, what more can you ask for?